Since pre-industrial times, the atmospheric concentration of methane (CH4) has increased by 150%. Methane is a greenhouse gas that has a global warming potential that is 23 times stronger than CO2. (IPCC 2001)
In 2000 the total world CH4 emissions was estimated at 6,000 million tonnes of CO2equivalents. In South America the emissions of CH4 per capita is almost twice the world average, while the per capita emissions in Central America and Caribbean is similar to the world average.
CH4 comes from burning fossil fuels, rice paddies, waste dumps and livestock.
(WRI: Climate Analysis Indicators Tool)