Methane bubbles can be burned on a wet hand without injury.
Testing Australian sheep for exhaled methane production (2001), CSIRO
This image represents a ruminant, specifically a sheep, producing methane in the four stages of hydrolysis, acidogenesis, acetogenesis, and methanogenesis.
This diagram shows a method for producing methane sustainably. See: electrolysis, Sabatier reaction
Methane (CH4) measured by the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) in the lower atmosphere (troposphere) at stations around the world. Abundances are given as pollution free monthly mean mole fractions in parts-per-billion.
Methane (CH4) on Mars – potential sources and sinks
Alessandro Volta

Chemical compound with the chemical formula .

- Methane

500 related topics


Methane clathrate

"Burning ice". Methane, released by heating, burns; water drips. 
Inset: clathrate structure (University of Göttingen, GZG. Abt. Kristallographie). 
Source: United States Geological Survey.
microscope image
Methane hydrate phase diagram. The horizontal axis shows temperature from -15 to 33 Celsius, the vertical axis shows pressure from 0 to 120,000 kilopascals (0 to 1,184 atmospheres). Hydrate forms above the line. For example, at 4 Celsius hydrate forms above a pressure of about 50 atm/5000 kPa, found at about 500m sea depth.
Worldwide distribution of confirmed or inferred offshore gas hydrate-bearing sediments, 1996. Source: USGS
Gas hydrate-bearing sediment, from the subduction zone off Oregon
Specific structure of a gas hydrate piece, from the subduction zone off Oregon
Concept diagram of oil containment domes, forming upsidedown funnels in order to pipe oil to surface ships. The sunken oil rig is nearby.

Methane clathrate (CH4·5.75H2O) or (8CH4·46H2O), also called methane hydrate, hydromethane, methane ice, fire ice, natural gas hydrate, or gas hydrate, is a solid clathrate compound (more specifically, a clathrate hydrate) in which a large amount of methane is trapped within a crystal structure of water, forming a solid similar to ice.

Greenhouse gas

Gas that absorbs and emits radiant energy within the thermal infrared range, causing the greenhouse effect.

The greenhouse effect of solar radiation on the Earth's surface caused by emission of greenhouse gases.
Radiative forcing (warming influence) of different contributors to climate change through 2019, as reported in the Sixth IPCC assessment report.
Atmospheric absorption and scattering at different wavelengths of electromagnetic waves. The largest absorption band of carbon dioxide is not far from the maximum in the thermal emission from ground, and it partly closes the window of transparency of water; hence its major effect.
Concentrations of carbon monoxide in the Spring and Fall of 2000 in the lower atmosphere showing a range from about 390 parts per billion (dark brown pixels), to 220 parts per billion (red pixels), to 50 parts per billion (blue pixels).
Increasing water vapor in the stratosphere at Boulder, Colorado
Schmidt et al. (2010) analysed how individual components of the atmosphere contribute to the total greenhouse effect. They estimated that water vapor accounts for about 50% of Earth's greenhouse effect, with clouds contributing 25%, carbon dioxide 20%, and the minor greenhouse gases and aerosols accounting for the remaining 5%. In the study, the reference model atmosphere is for 1980 conditions. Image credit: NASA.
The radiative forcing (warming influence) of long-lived atmospheric greenhouse gases has accelerated, almost doubling in 40 years.
Top: Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels as measured in the atmosphere and reflected in ice cores. Bottom: The amount of net carbon increase in the atmosphere, compared to carbon emissions from burning fossil fuel.
400,000 years of ice core data
Recent year-to-year increase of atmospheric.
Major greenhouse gas trends.
The US, China and Russia have cumulatively contributed the greatest amounts of since 1850.

The primary greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide , methane , nitrous oxide , and ozone.

Atmospheric methane

Arctic methane concentrations up to September 2020.
The warming influence (called radiative forcing) of long-lived greenhouse gases has nearly doubled in 40 years, with carbon dioxide and methane being the dominant drivers of global warming.
The impact of CH4 atmospheric methane concentrations on global temperature increase may be far greater than previously estimated.

Atmospheric methane is the methane present in Earth's atmosphere.

Tetrahedral molecular geometry

Located at the center with four substituents that are located at the corners of a tetrahedron.

Calculating bond angles of a symmetrical tetrahedral molecule using a dot product
The tetrahedral molecule methane (CH4)
Bitetrahedral structure adopted by Al2Br6 ("aluminium tribromide") and Ga2Cl6 ("gallium trichloride").

The bond angles are cos−1(−1⁄3) = 109.4712206...° ≈ 109.5° when all four substituents are the same, as in methane (CH4) as well as its heavier analogues.


Seventh planet from the Sun.

Photograph of Uranus in true colour (by Voyager 2 in 1986)
Simulated Earth view of Uranus from 1986 to 2030, from southern summer solstice in 1986 to equinox in 2007 and northern summer solstice in 2028.
Size comparison of Earth and Uranus
Diagram of the interior of Uranus
Uranus's atmosphere taken during the Outer Planet Atmosphere Legacy (OPAL) program.
Aurorae on Uranus taken by the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) installed on Hubble.
The magnetic field of Uranus
(animated; 25 March 2020)
The first dark spot observed on Uranus. Image obtained by the HST ACS in 2006.
Uranus in 2005. Rings, southern collar and a bright cloud in the northern hemisphere are visible (HST ACS image).
Major moons of Uranus in order of increasing distance (left to right), at their proper relative sizes and albedos (collage of Voyager 2 photographs)
Uranus's aurorae against its equatorial rings, imaged by the Hubble telescope. Unlike the aurorae of Earth and Jupiter, those of Uranus are not in line with its poles, due to its lopsided magnetic field.
Crescent Uranus as imaged by Voyager 2 while en route to Neptune

Uranus's atmosphere is similar to Jupiter's and Saturn's in its primary composition of hydrogen and helium, but it contains more "ices" such as water, ammonia, and methane, along with traces of other hydrocarbons.


Eighth and farthest-known Solar planet from the Sun.

Photograph taken by NASA's Voyager 2 in 1989
Galileo Galilei
Urbain Le Verrier
A size comparison of Neptune and Earth
Combined colour and near-infrared image of Neptune, showing bands of methane in its atmosphere, and four of its moons, Proteus, Larissa, Galatea, and Despina
Bands of high-altitude clouds cast shadows on Neptune's lower cloud deck.
The Great Dark Spot (top), Scooter (middle white cloud), and the Small Dark Spot (bottom), with contrast exaggerated.
Four images taken a few hours apart with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3
Neptune (red arc) completes one orbit around the Sun (centre) for every 164.79 orbits of Earth. The light blue object represents Uranus.
A diagram showing the major orbital resonances in the Kuiper belt caused by Neptune: the highlighted regions are the 2:3 resonance (plutinos), the nonresonant "classical belt" (cubewanos), and the 1:2 resonance (twotinos).
A simulation showing the outer planets and Kuiper belt: a) before Jupiter and Saturn reached a 2:1 resonance; b) after inward scattering of Kuiper belt objects following the orbital shift of Neptune; c) after ejection of scattered Kuiper belt bodies by Jupiter
Natural-colour view of Neptune with Proteus (top), Larissa (lower right), and Despina (left), from the Hubble Space Telescope
Neptune's moon Proteus
A composite Hubble image showing Hippocamp with other previously discovered inner moons in Neptune's ring system
Neptune's rings
In 2018, the European Southern Observatory developed unique laser-based methods to get clear and high-resolution images of Neptune from the surface of Earth.
A Voyager 2 mosaic of Triton
The appearance of a Northern Great Dark Spot in 2018 is evidence of a huge storm brewing.<ref>{{cite web |title=A storm is coming |url= | |access-date=19 February 2019 |language=en |archive-url= |archive-date=20 February 2019 |url-status=live }}</ref>
The Northern Great Dark Spot and a smaller companion storm imaged by Hubble in 2020<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Dark Storm on Neptune Reverses Direction, Possibly Shedding Fragment|author1=Michael H. Wong|author2=Amy Simon|publisher=Hubblesite|date=15 December 2020|access-date=25 December 2020|archive-date=25 December 2020|archive-url=|url-status=live}}</ref>
The Great Dark Spot, as imaged by Voyager 2
Neptune's shrinking vortex<ref>{{cite web|title=Neptune's shrinking vortex|url=||access-date=19 February 2018|archive-url=|archive-date=19 February 2018|url-status=live}}</ref>

Like Jupiter and Saturn, Neptune's atmosphere is composed primarily of hydrogen and helium, along with traces of hydrocarbons and possibly nitrogen, though it contains a higher proportion of "ices" such as water, ammonia and methane.


Organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon.

Ball-and-stick model of the methane molecule, CH4. Methane is part of a homologous series known as the alkanes, which contain single bonds only.
Oil refineries are one way hydrocarbons are processed for use. Crude oil is processed in several stages to form desired hydrocarbons, used as fuel and in other products.
Tank wagon 33 80 7920 362-0 with hydrocarbon gas at Bahnhof Enns (2018).
Natural oil spring in Korňa, Slovakia.

Hydrocarbons can be gases (e.g. methane and propane), liquids (e.g. hexane and benzene), waxes or low melting solids (e.g. paraffin wax and naphthalene) or polymers (e.g. polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene).

Natural gas

Natural gas burner on a natural-gas-burning stove
Natural gas drilling rig in Texas, USA
Countries by natural gas proven reserves (2014), based on data from The World Factbook
The location of shale gas compared to other types of gas deposits
Natural gas processing plant in Aderklaa, Lower Austria
Schematic flow diagram of a typical natural gas processing plant
Natural gas extraction by countries in cubic meters per year around 2013
Polyethylene plastic main being placed in a trench
Construction close to high pressure gas transmission pipelines is discouraged, often with standing warning signs.
Peoples Gas Manlove Field natural gas storage area in Newcomb Township, Champaign County, Illinois. In the foreground (left) is one of the numerous wells for the underground storage area, with an LNG plant, and above ground storage tanks are in the background (right).
Manhole for domestic gas supply, London, UK
A Washington, D.C. Metrobus, which runs on natural gas
The warming influence (called radiative forcing) of long-lived greenhouse gases has nearly doubled in 40 years, with carbon dioxide and methane being the dominant drivers of global warming.
A pipeline odorant injection station
Gas network emergency vehicle responding to a major fire in Kyiv, Ukraine
Natural gas prices at the Henry Hub in US dollars per million BTUs
Comparison of natural gas prices in Japan, United Kingdom, and United States, 2007–2011
US Natural Gas Marketed Production 1900 to 2012 (US EIA data)
Trends in the top five natural gas-producing countries (US EIA data)

Natural gas (also called fossil gas or simply gas) is a naturally occurring mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons consisting primarily of methane in addition to various smaller amounts of other higher alkanes.


Bacteria (singular bacterium, common noun bacteria) are ubiquitous, mostly free-living organisms often consisting of one biological cell.

Rod-shaped Bacillus subtilis
Phylogenetic tree of Bacteria, Archaea and Eucarya. The vertical line at bottom represents the last universal common ancestor.
Bacteria display many cell morphologies and arrangements
The range of sizes shown by prokaryotes (Bacteria), relative to those of other organisms and biomolecules.
Structure and contents of a typical Gram-positive bacterial cell (seen by the fact that only one cell membrane is present).
An electron micrograph of Halothiobacillus neapolitanus cells with carboxysomes inside, with arrows highlighting visible carboxysomes. Scale bars indicate 100 nm.
Helicobacter pylori electron micrograph, showing multiple flagella on the cell surface
Bacillus anthracis (stained purple) growing in cerebrospinal fluid
Many bacteria reproduce through binary fission, which is compared to mitosis and meiosis in this image.
A culture of ''Salmonella
A colony of Escherichia coli
Helium ion microscopy image showing T4 phage infecting E. coli. Some of the attached phage have contracted tails indicating that they have injected their DNA into the host. The bacterial cells are ~ 0.5 µm wide.
Transmission electron micrograph of Desulfovibrio vulgaris showing a single flagellum at one end of the cell. Scale bar is 0.5 micrometers long.
The different arrangements of bacterial flagella: A-Monotrichous; B-Lophotrichous; C-Amphitrichous; D-Peritrichous
Streptococcus mutans visualised with a Gram stain.
Phylogenetic tree showing the diversity of bacteria, compared to other organisms. Here bacteria are represented by three main supergroups: the CPR ultramicrobacterias, Terrabacteria and Gracilicutes according to recent genomic analyzes (2019).
Overview of bacterial infections and main species involved.
Colour-enhanced scanning electron micrograph showing Salmonella typhimurium (red) invading cultured human cells
In bacterial vaginosis, beneficial bacteria in the vagina (top) are displaced by pathogens (bottom). Gram stain.
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the first microbiologist and the first person to observe bacteria using a microscope.

In the biological communities surrounding hydrothermal vents and cold seeps, extremophile bacteria provide the nutrients needed to sustain life by converting dissolved compounds, such as hydrogen sulphide and methane, to energy.

Liquefied natural gas

A typical LNG process.
LNG life-cycle.
Global LNG import trends, by volume (in red), and as a percentage of global natural gas imports (in black) (US EIA data)
Trends in the top five LNG-importing nations as of 2009 (US EIA data)
President Trump visits the Cameron LNG Export Terminal in Louisiana, May 2019
Russian and Western politicians visit the Sakhalin-II project on 18 February 2009
LNG storage tank at EG LNG
Model of Tanker LNG Rivers, LNG capacity of 135,000 cubic metres
Interior of an LNG cargo tank
Protest against shale gas extraction in the United States, 2016
Green bordered white diamond symbol used on LNG-powered vehicles in China

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas (predominantly methane, CH4, with some mixture of ethane, C2H6) that has been cooled down to liquid form for ease and safety of non-pressurized storage or transport.