Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surged at a record-breaking speed in 2016 to the highest level in 800 000 years, according to the World Meteorological Organization's Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. The abrupt changes in the atmosphere witnessed in the past 70 years are without precedent.
Changes in tropical wetland, ruminant or rice emissions are thought to have played a role in recent variations in atmospheric methane (CH4) concentrations. India has the world’s largest ruminant population and produces ~ 20% of the world’s rice. Therefore, changes in these sources could have significant implications for global warming. Here, we infer India’s CH4 emissions for the period 2010–2015 using a combination of satellite, surface and aircraft data.