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This website is just one component of a three year activity: ‘MethaneNet’. What exactly is MethaneNet? How did it come about, who is involved, what are its aims?

Methane is recognized to be an important greenhouse gas but the drivers behind fluctuations in atmospheric concentrations over the last twenty years are not well understood.  Palaeoclimatic evidence implicates methane in past dramatic changes in global temperatures.  Methane is also a significant energy resource. A wide range of disciplines are involved in methane research, at spatial scales spanning microbial ecology through to biogeochemistry and global atmospheric chemistry, and at temporal scales spanning the Precambrian era to the present day and beyond. In addition to pure research, the subject involves policy makers and regulators, the energy industries, agriculture and waste disposal. The Methane Network (MethaneNet) aims to facilitate communication between all these groups, broaden links and establish a prioritized research agenda to include the UK and international community. 

A highly successful kick-off meeting took place on 21-22nd January 2010, gathering together over 70 members of the ‘Methane Community’ (see link to resources section). This meeting highlighted the need for more interdisciplinary effort, and follow-up workshops will be organized to address key areas of interest, to broaden involvement in the project and to engage early career researchers. Further high-profile meetings are planned to include the first Biennial International Methane Conference.  To find out first about future meetings and workshops please register on this website which will allow you to receive automatic alerts to site updates, news and relevant job postings.

MethaneNet is funded by NERC and led by Dr. Vincent Gauci of the Open University.  The MethaneNet coordinator is Dr Mike Peacock, also of the Open University. The different facets of the project are divided into six work packages as follows:

WP1: Microbial ecology and biogeochemical feedbacks, leader Vincent Gauci.

WP2: Global atmospheric chemistry modeling and feedbacks, leader John Pyle, University of Cambridge.

WP3: Fluxes from terrestrial environments and Earth observation systems, leader David Fowler, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH).

WP4: Fluxes from marine environments and hydrates, leader David Long, British Geological Survey (BGS).

WP5: Records of past fluxes, leader Anthony Cohen, Open University.

WP6: Engaging the wider community, leader Mike Peacock, Open University.

Finally, to emphasize the point that, if you are engaged in any form of methane-related research, this project is relevant to you. There will be many opportunities to participate, either through the ‘official’ meetings and workshops, or by contributing items and participating in discussions on the MethaneNet website. Please do get involved.  If you are new to MethaneNet.org please look at the ‘MethaneNet starts here’ section. To stay in touch with all things related to methane, follow us on twitter: @MethaneNet.

 

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