In the last two decades of the 20th century up through 2006, scientists observed a reduced growth rate of atmospheric methane levels. While two papers released in the journal Nature are divided on the cause, both teams agree that human activities have lead to slower growth of atmospheric methane.

BBC reports one team of researchers from University of California, Irvine believe increased use of natural gas and more efficient use of fossil fuels have lead to a decrease in methane.

We’re not suggesting we used less fossil fuel, but because we were more careful about capturing the natural gas and using it as an energy resource, emissions of these gases into the atmosphere declined at the end of the 20th Century.