Posted on December 12, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Concentrations of heat-trapping methane are increasing steadily in the Earth’s atmosphere.
‘What surprised me was that every well we measured had some methane coming out …’
FRISCO — Fixing leaky pipes and other equipment at operational oil and gas wells would go a long way toward cutting emissions of heat-trapping methane pollution, but wells that were abandoned decades ago could be another big source of the potent greenhouse gas.
Princeton University researchers recently tested several abandoned oil and natural gas wells in northwestern Pennsylvania, finding that many of the old wells leaked substantial quantities of methane. By some estimates, there are as many as 3 million abandoned wells across the U.S. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, global warming, oil drilling | Tagged: climate change, fracking, global warming, greenhouse gases, methane, oil and gas | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 10, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
‘From space, there are no hiding places …’
The Four Corners area (red) is the major U.S. hot spot for methane emissions in this map showing how much emissions varied from average background concentrations from 2003-2009 (dark colors are lower than average; lighter colors are higher).
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan.
FRISCO — The Four Corners region is a methane hotspot, producing the largest concentration of the heat-trapping greenhouse gas methane seen over the United States. Atmospheric concentrations of the gas are more than three times the standard ground-based estimate, according to a new study of satellite data by scientists at NASA and the University of Michigan. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, energy, Environment, gas drilling, global warming, oil drilling | Tagged: climate change, energy, Environment, Four Corners, greenhouse gases, methane, methane hotspot | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 30, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Cutting methane could slow global temperature surge.
Action could help avert climate tipping points
FRISCO — Leading scientists say the U.S. must do more to cut methane emissions from fossil fuel exploitation and other sectors to try and avoid reaching climate tipping points that could have disastrous implications.
Methane is a much more potent heat-trapping gas than carbon dioxide, but it only stays in the atmosphere for about 12 years, which means that big cuts could have a tangible short-term benefit in the race to cap global warming. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, energy, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases | Tagged: climate change, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases, methane | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 17, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
FrackNation … but for how long?
Is natural gas really the lesser of two evils?
FRISCO — As frackers desperately try to pump every last bit of gas from the ground before the global warming clock runs out, scientists warn that methane emissions could push Earth over a climate tipping point in just a few years.
“We have to control methane immediately, and natural gas is the largest methane pollution source in the United States,” said Robert Howarth, greenhouse gas expert and ecology and environmental biology professor at Cornell University. “If we hit a climate-system tipping point because of methane, our carbon dioxide problem is immaterial. We have to get a handle on methane, or increasingly risk global catastrophe.” Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: fracking, global warming, methane, Natural gas, Radiative forcing | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 12, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
The massive Deepwater Horizon oll spill spreads a sheen across a huge section of the Gulf of Mexico in May 2010. Photo courtesy NASA.
Findings show value of long-term post-spill monitoring
FRISCO — Methane-munching microbes in the Gulf of Mexico may have been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of gas released during the 84-day Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in 2010.
“Most of the gas injected into the Gulf was methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change, so we were naturally concerned that this potent greenhouse gas could escape into the atmosphere,” said University of Georgia researcher Samantha Joye.” Many assumed that methane-oxidizing microbes would simply consume the methane efficiently, but our data suggests that this isn’t what happened.” Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: Deepwater horizon oil spill, Environment, Gulf of Mexico, methane, Samantha Joye, University of Georgia | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 9, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
The proliferation of oil and gas drilling in Colorado raises serious questions about air quality impacts. Photo courtesy SkyTruth.
New research show true magnitude of fossil fuel pollution along Front Range
FRISCO — Heat-trapping greenhouse gases and other air pollutants are leaking from Colorado oil and gas operations at a far higher rate than previously estimated.
Two days of aerial surveys showed methane leaking at three times the rate predicted by inventory estimates, and seven times as much benzene, a cancer-causing air toxic.Emissions of other chemicals that contribute to summertime ozone pollution were about twice as high as estimates, according to the new paper, accepted for publication in the American Geophysical Union’s Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: air pollution, Colorado, Environment, fracking, methane, oil and gas drilling | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 29, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
New study shows need for better monitoring
FRISCO — Wetlands have been pinpointed as one of the largest sources of global methane emissions and new research shows that much more of the potent heat-trapping greenhouse gas will be pumped into the atmosphere as northern wetlands thaw and tropical ones warm, according to a new international study led by a University of Guelph researcher.
The study, published in Global Change Biology, is based on one of the largest-ever analyses of global methane emissions, with more than 20,000 field data measurements collected from 70 sites across arctic, temperate and tropical regions.
The results show the need for improved monitoring of wetlands and human changes to those ecosystems – a timely topic as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change prepares to examine land use impacts on greenhouse gas emissions, according to Prof. Merritt Turetsky, lead author of the new study. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases | Tagged: climate change, Environment, global warming, methane, wetlands | 1 Comment »