Most climate models do not yet account for a new University of California, Riverside discovery: methane traps a great deal of heat in Earth’s atmosphere, but also creates cooling clouds that offset 30% of the heat. –
In addition to absorbing longwave energy, it turns out methane also absorbs incoming energy from the sun, known as shortwave energy.
“This should warm the planet,” said Allen, who led the research project. “But counterintuitively, the shortwave absorption encourages changes in clouds that have a slight cooling effect.”