Methane Details: Why is Methane a Problem?
There maybe several mixed ideas in our thinking about the drivers of climate change that need to be sorted out and appropriate information presented so that others can be made aware of the reality.
1) Methane is a much stronger green house gas than CO2 - methane is between 25 to 250+ times as effective as a greenhouse gas depending on how much methane has been released recently because of the atmospheric (stratospheric or higher) reaction of UV, methane and OH- to form CO2 and water. With high concentrations of atmospheric methane the hydroxyl group concentration decreases and the methane residency goes up from 12 years as it now is to some period much longer.
2) Methane enhances rather than replaces the warming from the greenhouse effect of CO2. As the Methane concentration goes up the total greenhouse effect may come to be controlled by the methane concentration rather than CO2 and water vapor as it is now. Our options for control will be reduced because the only tools we have now are Carbon Dioxide Reduction (CDR) or geoengineering - Solar Radiation Reduction (SRR) with aerosols.
3) Methane release happens as a result of anaerobic conditions, when areas of high organic content are aerated they release more CO2 (a good thing - in an unfortunate situation). The application of char to a wetland may increase the CO2 output, but warming the same area in an anaerobic condition may result in increased methane production (the worst outcome).
4) The placement of char in most situations (from land fills, farm soils, manure collection areas, sewerage treatment systems, forest soils, golf courses and to wetlands) is much better than the use of unstabilized organic material because well charred material is recalcitrant - it does not combine with oxygen at normal earth temperatures. The solid carbon portion of a charred material will not be degraded further by normal surface oxidative processes. Char can only be rapidly converted to CO2 at elevated temperatures well above expected land surface temps.