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Cutting human sources of methane would reduce global warming and improve human health – scientists | Climate News

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Cutting human sources of methane would be a quick win for the climate, according to a new United Nations report.

Roughly halving emissions of the greenhouse gas from human activity, often with existing, cost-effective solutions, would reduce the future rise in global temperatures by around 0.3C by the 2040s, it is claimed.

The analysis was carried out by the UN Environment Programme and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC).

Scientists have hailed the strategy as a “win-win” because it would reduce global warming and simultaneously improve human health and the economy.

Levels of methane in the atmosphere have doubled since pre-industrial times.

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Agriculture accounts for 40% of methane emissions, largely from livestock

It is a potent greenhouse gas that is 10 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.

According to the UN’s Global Methane Assessment, human activity results in around 380 million tonnes of methane being released into the atmosphere every year.

Agriculture accounts for 40% of the emissions, largely from livestock and rice cultivation, while another 32% comes from oil and gas extraction and coal mining.

The report says reducing the emissions by 45%, or 180 million tonnes a year, by 2030 is critical for limiting global heating to 1.5C, the point where the climate would become increasingly and significantly unstable.

Professor Drew Shindell, chair of the CCAC and one of the report authors, told Sky News: “It’s vital to tackle methane because it’s the strongest lever we have to reduce the rate of warming in the near term.

“And that warming rate is what’s leading to stronger hurricanes, more intense heatwaves, flooding, droughts all those consequences.

“Three tenths of a degree accounts for 70 billion lost hours of labour.

“That’s people working outside in places that can’t be air conditioned like agriculture and construction, so they are real costs to the economy, human wellbeing and more people dying from heat exposure.

“All these 10ths of a degree sound minor, but they’re not at all.”

The report says the target could be achieved with known solutions, many of which would pay for themselves within a few years.

They include reducing methane leaks from gas pipelines, better management of coal mines, eliminating organic waste from landfill and reducing meat consumption.

Reducing emissions would have a swift impact on global warming because the gas only survives in the atmosphere for around 10 years, whereas carbon dioxide stays there for several centuries.

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Method found to reduce methane from cows

Professor Grant Allen, professor of atmospheric physics at the University of Manchester, said: “This does not mean that cutting methane emissions alone can solve the warming problem.

“We must also continue to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to meet Paris Agreement targets and avoid dangerous warming.

“But it does mean that we can help to quickly slow the rate of global temperature increase and avoid some significant degree of warming in the near future.”

As well as warming the climate, methane results in increased ozone air pollution.

Meeting the 45% target for reduced emissions would prevent 255,000 premature deaths and 775,000 asthma-related hospital visits every year, the report concludes.

Professor Dave Reay, executive director of the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute, University of Edinburgh, said: “Seldom in the world of climate change action is there a solution so stuffed with win-wins.

“This blunt report makes clear that slashing emissions of methane – a powerful but short-lived greenhouse gas – will deliver large and rapid benefits for the climate, air quality, human health, agriculture, and the economy too.

“Meeting the Paris Climate Goals will need every climate action trick in the book. Cutting methane emissions should be on page 1.”

The Daily Climate Show
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The Daily Climate Show

Sky News has launched the first daily prime time news show dedicated to climate change.

The Daily Climate Show is broadcast at 6.30pm and 9.30pm Monday to Friday on Sky News, the Sky News website and app, on YouTube and Twitter.

Hosted by Anna Jones, it will follow Sky News correspondents as they investigate how global warming is changing our landscape and how we all live our lives.

The show will also highlight solutions to the crisis and show how small changes can make a big difference.

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Euro 2020: Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest on pitch, doctors say, as he ‘sends greetings to teammates’ from hospital | World News

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Christian Eriksen is in a stable condition after suffering what doctors said was a cardiac arrest during Denmark’s opening Euro 2020 match on Saturday.

The Danish footballer is awake in hospital, and has “sent his greetings to his teammates” while he remains under examination following his collapse in Copenhagen.

A cardiac arrest is when the heart stops completely, rendering the person unconscious, while a heart attack is a condition that slows down blood circulation, that the patient is likely awake for.

There were cheers as the announcer wished Christian Eriksen well. Pic: AP
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There were cheers as the announcer wished Christian Eriksen well in Wembley on Sunday. Pic: AP

Denmark team doctor Morten Boesen told a news conference that tests on the player “so far look fine”, adding that Eriksen “was gone” before resuscitation efforts began.

Mr Boesen added: “How close were we? I don’t know. We got him back after one defib, so that’s quite fast.”

“We don’t have any explanation why it happened. The details about what happened I am not quite sure of because I am not a cardiologist, I will leave that to the experts. I didn’t see it live, only on screens afterwards.”

Earlier on Sunday, the Danish FA said in a tweet that the 29-year-old had been in contact with the squad on Sunday, as he continues to recover from the incident in Copenhagen.

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“This morning we have spoken to Christian Eriksen, who has sent his greetings to his teammates,” it said. “His condition is stable and he continues to be hospitalised for further examination,” it added.

Denmark‘s players and staff have “received crisis assistance and will continue to be there for each other after yesterday’s incident”, the statement added, with some of Eriksen’s teammates having been reduced to tears as they formed a wall around him to shield him from the cameras while he received treatment on the pitch.

“We would like to thank everyone for the heartfelt greetings to Christian Eriksen from fans, players, the royal families from both Denmark and England, international associations, clubs etc,” the statement said.

Danish national soccer team's Christian Eriksen trains at Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark September 4, 2020
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Denmark’s Christian Eriksen is in a stable condition in hospital

Medics attended Eriksen after being quickly ushered on to the field by English referee Anthony Taylor, while Denmark captain Simon Kjaer made what has been hailed as a life-saving intervention by securing his neck, clearing his airways and starting CPR.

Kjaer then led the Danish players in forming the ring around their teammate and comforted Eriksen’s partner, who appeared distraught as she went on to the pitch.

Inter Milan midfielder Eriksen, who spent seven years in English football with Tottenham, has been inundated with messages of support since his collapse – including footballers past and present, pundits, politicians and royals.

Boris Johnson was said to have been “shocked” by what happened.

“He is very thankful for the quick thinking actions of officials,” the prime minister’s spokesman said. “The response of players and fans in the stadium was exemplary. It showed sport at its best.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also tweeted to praise the referee and medical team.

Prince William, who is also president of the FA, added: “Encouraging news about Christian Eriksen, we are all thinking about him and his family.”

Also among those to send their well-wishes was former Arsenal and Birmingham player Fabrice Muamba, whose heart stopped for more than an hour while playing for Bolton against Spurs in 2012.

Dr Jonathan Tobin, the Bolton club doctor at the time, told Sky News: “Even managing to start CPR under that much pressure… I’m not understating it when I said I could hardly breathe when I first started treating Fabrice on the pitch.

“After a minute or two, I was into the groove, everything was fine, but that first minute it was hard. All I could hear was my own heart thundering in my head.”

“So, congratulations for starting the CPR and congratulations for letting their training take over,” he said of those who treated Eriksen.

Muamba hoped to resume his career but retired from professional football five months later on medical advice – and doctors are concerned that Eriksen may also struggle to play again.

Sanjay Sharma, professor of sports cardiology at St George’s University in London, who worked with Eriksen at Tottenham during his time in north London, said: “The good news is he will live, the bad news is he was coming to the end of his career, so would he play another professional football game? That I can’t say.

“In the UK he wouldn’t play. We’d be very strict about it.”

He added: “Without putting it too bluntly, he died today, albeit for a few minutes, but he did die and would the medical professional allow him to die again? The answer is no.”

Players were distraught as Eriksen received medical attention
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Players were distraught as Eriksen received medical attention and formed a shield around him

Inter physician Piero Volpi told The Associated Press now was not the time to be making such assessments.

“Right now, the important thing is that he recovers,” added Dr Volpi, who also confirmed that Eriksen had never contracted COVID-19. He also was yet to receive a vaccine.

Some Denmark players chose not to continue playing, coach Kasper Hjulmand said after the Group B match, which Finland went on to win 1-0 via a 59th minute goal from Joel Pohjanpalo.

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Group B - Denmark v Finland - Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark - June 12, 2021 Finland's Joel Pohjanpalo celebrates scoring their first goal with teammate Pool via REUTERS/Jonathan Nackstrand
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Joel Pohjanpalo scored the winner for Finland after play resumed some time later

Eriksen was the focus of further well-wishes at Wembley in London on Sunday afternoon, when England begin their Euro 2020 campaign against Croatia.

England captain Harry Kane is a former teammate of Eriksen during his time at Tottenham.



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Euro 2020: Denmark captain Simon Kjaer hailed a hero for ‘life-saving’ response to Christian Eriksen collapse | World News

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Denmark football captain Simon Kjaer has been hailed as a hero for his quick response to teammate Christian Eriksen’s collapse during their Euro 2020 opener against Finland.

Eriksen is stable in hospital following the incident in Copenhagen on Saturday evening, which saw the former Tottenham star suddenly fall to the ground with no other players near him.

The 29-year-old, who had no history of heart problems, was shielded from the television cameras by his distraught Denmark teammates as medical staff tried to resuscitate him on the touchline.

Skipper Kjaer was among the first to rush to Eriksen’s side when he went down and has been credited with playing a potentially life-saving role in the response – as well as for how he led the Danish players in forming the ring and comforted Eriksen’s distraught partner, who went on to the pitch.

Players were distraught as Eriksen received medical attention
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Denmark’s players were distraught as Eriksen received medical attention, forming a shield around him

“Captain and hero: Simon Kjaer,” said Sky Sports journalist Angelo Mangiante.

“Before the medics got there he secured his neck, cleared the airways and started CPR.

“Could have saved Eriksen’s life. Act of heroism.

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“Kjaer trying to keep also Christian’s wife strong, is very emotional. What a man. So proud of you.”

Dr Philip Lee said that Kjaer had “saved his friend’s life”, and tweeted the 32-year-old to say: “Your leadership to the Danish team, your quick thinking, and your actions, are an example to us all.”

Former footballers are also among those to have praised Kjaer, who was said to have been left too overwhelmed to complete the match when it resumed later in the evening.

Finland went on to win the Group B fixture 1-0 via a 59th minute goal from Joel Pohjanpalo, who was restrained in his celebration in light of what had happened.

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Group B - Denmark v Finland - Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark - June 12, 2021 Finland's Joel Pohjanpalo celebrates scoring their first goal with teammate Pool via REUTERS/Jonathan Nackstrand
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Joel Pohjanpalo didn’t celebrate his winning goal with much exuberance after the match resumed

Speaking afterwards, Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand: “Simon Kjaer was deeply, deeply touched. He was in doubt whether he could continue and gave it a shot, but ultimately he couldn’t. I completely understand that.”

Hjulmand – visibly drained at his post-match news conference – said UEFA didn’t put the players under any pressure to finish the match.

He added: “I completely understand that you can’t play a soccer match at this level after watching one of your best friends fight for his life.”

Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand embraces his goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who has also been praised for his response to what happened to Eriksen
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Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand embraces his goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who has also been praised for his response to what happened to Eriksen

Kjaer plays his club football in the same city as Eriksen. The defender is with AC Milan, while Eriksen – who lit up the Premier League during his time with Spurs – is currently at rivals Inter.

Ex-Arsenal player Nico Yennaris said Kjaer “could possibly well have saved Eriksen’s life” on Saturday, but there are doubts over whether the midfielder will be able to play again.

Sanjay Sharma, professor of sports cardiology at St George’s University in London, who worked with Eriksen at Tottenham during his seven years in north London, said: “Without putting it too bluntly, he died today, albeit for a few minutes, but he did die and would the medical professional allow him to die again? The answer is no.”

Inter physician Piero Volpi told The Associated Press now was not the time to be making such assessments.

“Right now, the important thing is that he recovers,” added Dr Volpi, who also confirmed that Eriksen had never contracted COVID-19.

Eriksen played for Spurs until last year
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Eriksen played for Spurs until last year

After being shielded from view during his on-field treatment, Eriksen appeared conscious as he was taken away on a stretcher with an oxygen mask on.

He was given a standing ovation from the 16,000 fans in the stadium, who had been stunned into silence when the gravity of the situation became apparent.

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Group B - Denmark v Finland - Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark - June 12, 2021 Referee Anthony Taylor during the match Pool via REUTERS/Friedemann Vogel
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English referee Anthony Taylor was quick to halt play and call for the medics when Eriksen collapsed

As well as Kjaer, Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel – who plays for Leicester – and referee Anthony Taylor have also been singled out for praise.

Taylor, who referees in the Premier League, took seconds to halt play and call for medics.

Among those to highlight Taylor’s response were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who tweeted after it emerged that Eriksen was stable in hospital.

“Well done to the medical team and Anthony Taylor for their calm and swift action,” they said.

The tweet was signed off by Prince William, who is president of the FA.

It’s not known if he’ll be at Wembley later when England begin their Euro 2020 campaign against Croatia. Both sides feature ex-Tottenham teammates of Eriksen, including respective captains Harry Kane and Luka Modric.



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Christian Eriksen ‘sends greetings to teammates’ from hospital following collapse during Euro 2020 match | World News

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Christian Eriksen has “sent his greetings to his teammates” from hospital, where he remains under examination following his collapse during Denmark’s opening Euro 2020 match on Saturday.

In a statement on Twitter, the Danish FA said: “Latest news: This morning we have spoken to Christian Eriksen, who has sent his greetings to his teammates.

“His condition is stable and he continues to be hospitalised for further examination.”

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