En-ROADS User Guide

Methane & Other Gases🔗

Decrease or increase greenhouse gas emissions from methane, nitrous oxide, and the F-gases. Methane (CH4) is released from sources like cows, agriculture, oil and natural gas drilling, and waste. Nitrous oxide (N2O) mainly comes from fertilizers. Fluorinated gases, or F-gases, include HFCs, PFCs, and others that are used in industry and consumer goods like air conditioners.


  • Modified agricultural practices such as better processing of manure and decreasing fertilizer use.
  • Decreased methane leakage from oil and gas industries, for example by reducing venting and flaring of methane from oil and gas wells and properly sealing old wells.
  • Increased capturing of gases emitted from landfills.
  • Research and development into substitutions for F-gases in industrial processes and consumer appliances.

Big Messages🔗

  • Reducing methane, nitrous oxide, and the F-gases is high leverage for reducing emissions, although it requires many approaches across a diverse set of industries and more research and support is needed to scale them up.

Key Dynamics🔗

  • Methane, N2O, and F-gas emissions comprise approximately 26% of current greenhouse gas emissions, and their reduction is key to addressing climate change.

  • Plant-based diets that relate to methane emission reductions can be adjusted in the Deforestation advanced view, since demand for crops and grazing land is a primary driver of deforestation.

Potential Co-Benefits of Decreasing Methane & Other Gases🔗

  • Sustainable and plant-based agriculture produces more food with fewer resources, which increases food security.
  • Reducing methane leakage from natural gas systems can save money.
  • Less nitrogen-rich fertilizer runoff and good manure management can reduce water pollution, decrease eutrophication, and increase the health of aquatic ecosystems.

Equity Considerations🔗

  • Policies implemented without care may threaten food security for certain individuals and communities. For example, rice paddies, a large methane contributor, produce a main dietary staple for many countries.
  • Changes in agricultural practices can threaten local economies and employment in communities that rely on industrial, large-scale farming practices as their main livelihood.
  • Adoption of practices to limit emissions in some industries requires technologies or methods that add costs to goods that can be passed on to consumers.


Methane & Other Gases

Slider Settings🔗

The variable being changed is the percent reduction or percent increase of maximum possible action in methane and other greenhouse gases. The model limits how much these emissions can be reduced—so 100% max reduction is not a 100% total emissions reduction—since some emissions are considered unavoidable, particularly a minimum amount of emissions from agriculture, landfills, and wastewater.

highly reduced moderately reduced status quo increased
Percent reduction or increase of maximum action -100% to -50% -50% to -2% -2% to 0% 0% to +10%

Model Structure🔗

Each greenhouse gas is modeled separately within En-ROADS, which enables the impact of each gas on global temperature to be handled without using global warming potential (GWP) and CO2 equivalency conversions. Greenhouse gases other than CO2 that are reflected in graphs with the units CO2e do use GWP100 to enable comparison and reporting of all greenhouse gases together. This means that the short-lived, but high impact, nature of greenhouse gases like methane is captured throughout the model and in outputs like temperature change.

Case Studies🔗

Carrboro, NC, USA: Participation in a community gardening program in Carrboro, NC showed improvements in childhood obesity levels and resulted in families with children in the program eating one-third more fruits and vegetables every day.1


Please visit support.climateinteractive.org for additional inquiries and support.


[1]: Castro, D. C., Samuels, M., & Harman, A. E. (2013). Growing Healthy Kids. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 44(3).

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