A gas produced (with carbon dioxide) by anaerobic decomposition of carbohydrate. Methane in the atmosphere contributes to the greenhouse effect. Man-made sources include rice paddies, animal farming (from the anaerobic micro-organisms in the guts of ruminants) and landfill sites. Methane accounted for about 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions (in CO2 equivalents) in the year 2000.

This definition is abridged from A – Z of tree terms: A companion to British arboriculture.
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