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EDUCATION: GLOBAL METHANE INVENTORY

Methane (CH4) is considered one of the most important trace gases in the atmosphere because of its role as "both a greenhouse gas and a player in the chemistry of ozone destruction". Collecting data on sources of methane is an important step in increasing our knowledge of the content of the atmosphere and how it has changed over time. The Global Methane Inventory project was developed to involve students in the process of gathering data on sources of methane for the time period 1980 to the present. Projects were developed as well to help increase understanding of the methane cycle and issues involved in undertaking a project of this type.

Introduction to the Problem
Background materials on the greenhouse effect, greenhouse gases, global warming, and the methane cycle.
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Lessons
Lessons introducing the greenhouse effect and the methane cycle. Each lesson takes between one and three class periods.
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Research Projects
Three short- and long-term projects on the methane cycle. The projects use data gathered by the Global Methane Inventory project to explore different issues relating to methane research and greenhouse gas inventories.
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Previous ICP Research
A timeline of methane research results from the Institute on Climate and Planets, including student papers and poster presentations.
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Reference Materials
A selection of further readings on different aspects of the methane cycle, links to the agencies providing research data, and a list of the works cited in the ICP papers.
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