where ¿i(T) is the rate coefficient for the reaction of OH with methane in the atmosphere at the temperatures in the atmosphere (DeMore et al., 1997; Vaghjiani and Ravishankara, 1991). The product of k1 and [OH] is averaged over the entire region where methane is degraded. Because the abundance of OH can be decreased by an increased emission of methane, clearly the lifetime of methane will increase. The change in temperature will alter the rate coefficient k1 and hence alter the atmospheric lifetime and abundance of methane.

Changes in water vapor will also greatly affect OH since the primary process that produces OH in the atmosphere involves a competition between water vapor and nitrogen (oxygen) for the removal of O( D) produced by the photolysis of ozone.

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