Grants & Awards

Mark Hines, Acting Dean; Prof. College of Sciences

When people talk about climate change, the first thing they often mention is carbon dioxide (CO2). Although CO2 emissions get most of the media attention, methane (CH4) — a colorless, odorless and highly flammable gas that is a major component of natural gas — also contributes greatly to global warming.

“Methane concentrations in the atmosphere are much lower than that of carbon dioxide. However, methane is about twenty-five times more potent as a greenhouse gas compared to carbon dioxide, and it is accumulating faster in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide,” says Prof. Mark Hines of the Department of Biological Sciences and acting dean for the College of Sciences.

Hines is part of an international team of researchers that was recently awarded a three-year grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) worth more than $1.6 million. The project aims to use new measurement and remote-sensing satellite technologies to greatly fine-tune our knowledge of methane production in northern wetlands and help create a more accurate model of methane emissions on a global scale.