Climate researchers issue stern warning on natural gas

”  … It is the total quantity of CO2 from the energy system that matters to the climate.”

Shale gas deposits around the world. Map courtesy Energy Information Administration.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Researchers at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change have finally called the hoopla surrounding natural gas for what it is — mostly fossil fuel propaganda.

“The proponents of shale gas have always claimed that it is a lower carbon alternative to coal,” said Chris Shearlock, sustainable development manager at The Co-operative, an institutional investor in oil firms. “However, this is only true if the coal it displaces remains in the ground and isn’t just burnt elsewhere. Without a cap on global carbon emissions, shale gas is burnt in addition to other fossil fuels, increasing total emissions.”

The Tyndall report points out that, while U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have dropped by 8.6 percent since 2005, more than half of the recent emissions reductions in the power sector may be displaced overseas by the trade in coal. Continue reading

Environment: CO2 emissions reached new record in 2010

Atmospheric CO2 levels as measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.

Per capita emissions still highest in developed countries

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — After a small recession-related dip in 2008, global carbon dioxide emissions from energy production climbed to record levels in 2010, according to the latest estimates released by the International Energy Agency.

Total emissions reached 30.6 gigatons, up about 5 percent from the previous record, 29.3 gigatons, set in 2008. In terms of fuels, 44 percent of the estimated CO2 emissions in 2010 came from coal, 36 percent from oil, and 20 percent from natural gas. Continue reading

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