methane


methane
/ˈmiθeɪn / (say 'meethayn)

noun
a colourless, odourless, flammable gas, CH4, the simplest alkane, the main constituent of marsh gas and the firedamp of coal mines, and obtained commercially from natural gas; the first member of the methane or paraffin series of hydrocarbons.
{meth(yl) + -ane}
Primarily methane is the smallest member of the alkene hydrocarbon series. It is a greenhouse gas 21 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide and remaining in the atmosphere for nine to fifteen years. It currently contributes 20 per cent to the enhanced greenhouse effect, second to carbon dioxide. Methane is emitted from various natural and human-influenced sources. The latter, contributing about 60 per cent of emissions, include fossil fuel mining and use, animal husbandry (as in enteric fermentation in livestock), rice cultivation, biomass burning, and waste management. The most significant proportion of naturally produced methane comes from wetlands (via decomposition of organic matter); other natural sources include termites (from normal digestive processes), oceans, and methane hydrates (found deep underground in polar regions and in ocean sediments). Measurements by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology at Cape Grim in Tasmania indicate a stabilisation in mean annual atmospheric methane concentration since 1999 in contrast to a constant rise over the previous 20 years. While methane levels were low in the Southern Hemisphere in the second half of 2013, extremely high and potentially troubling levels of methane were reported over the Arctic Ocean over that time.

Australian English dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Methane — Methane …   Wikipedia

  • Méthane — Méthane …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Methane — Méthane Méthane Représentation de Cram et vue 3D …   Wikipédia en Français

  • MÉTHANE — Formule brute: CH4 Masse moléculaire: 16,04 g Masse spécifique: 0,716 8 g/l Point d’ébullition: 161,5 0C Point de fusion: 184 0C Le méthane est un hydrocarbure saturé, le plus simple des alcanes. C’est un gaz incolore, d’odeur légèrement alliacée …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Methane — Meth ane, n. [See {Methal}.] (Chem.) A light, colorless, gaseous, inflammable hydrocarbon, {CH4}; marsh gas. It is the simplest of the aliphatic hydrocarbons. See {Marsh gas}, under {Gas}. [1913 Webster] {Methane series} (Chem.), a series of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • methane — inflammable colorless and odorless gas, marsh gas, 1867, coined from METHYL (Cf. methyl) + chemical suffix ANE (Cf. ane) …   Etymology dictionary

  • methane — ► NOUN ▪ a colourless, odourless flammable gas which is the main constituent of natural gas. ORIGIN from METHYL(Cf. ↑methyl) …   English terms dictionary

  • methane — [meth′ān΄] n. [ METH(YL) + ANE] a colorless, odorless, flammable, gaseous alkane, CH4, present in natural gas and formed by the decomposition of vegetable matter, as in marshes and mines, or produced artificially by heating carbon monoxide and… …   English World dictionary

  • methane — /meth ayn/; Brit. /mee thayn/, n. Chem. a colorless, odorless, flammable gas, CH4, the main constituent of marsh gas and the firedamp of coal mines, obtained commercially from natural gas: the first member of the methane, or alkane, series of… …   Universalium

  • methane — noun /ˈmɛθɛɪn,ˈmiːθeɪn,ˈmɛθeɪn/ a) The simplest aliphatic hydrocarbon, CH, being a constituent of natural gas. Cattle emit a large amount of methane. b) Any of very many derivatives of methane. Syn: methyl hydride, car …   Wiktionary


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