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methane


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A gas that is a trace component of the atmosphere (c.2.0 × 10−4 per cent by volume), but which makes a significant contribution to the greenhouse effect, as well as tending to deplete atmospheric ozone, by which it is destroyed. Extensively produced by the decay of organic matter and from rice paddies, ruminant animals, and termites, it is also associated with all forms of fossil fuel as natural-gas deposits. From its occurrence in swampy areas it obtains its common name of marsh gas.


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