Methane is a compound with the chemical formula CH4. Methane is a key component in natural gas and is also one of the most potent greenhouse gases.
Most of the sun's rays reflect off the surface of the planet and return to space. Methane, like all greenhouse gases, absorbs the sunlight and keeps the energy or heat from the sun's rays in the Earth's atmosphere. Methane is added to the atmosphere from natural processes such as livestock. Animals' guts produce methane in the digestion process. Methane is also the key component of natural gas and is released into the atmosphere during production, storage and transportation of natural gas.