Methane releases from oil and gas far more than we knew

By Hiroko Tabuchi, The New York Times


Highlights:

Oil and gas production sites emitting more methane than previously accounted for:

  • Fossil-fuel emissions from human activity — namely the production and burning of fossil fuels — were underestimated by 25 to 40 percent, per new study.
  • Methane emissions are particularly harmful in the short term, warming the atmosphere 83 times more than CO2 over its roughly 20-year lifetime.
  • Researchers studying ice cores determined that naturally occurring methane emission rates have been overestimated, leading the researchers to suggest fossil fuel-based emissions are higher than once previously thought
  • Robert Howarth, an earth system scientist at Cornell University who was not involved with the research, called it “a very important study.” He said it was consistent with recent research, like a study he published last year that estimated that North American gas production was responsible for about a third of the global increase in methane emissions over the past decade.

The Climate Center supports divestment campaigns that help speed up and scale up greenhouse gas reductions globally and nationally.


Read More: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/19/climate/methane-flaring-oil-emissions.html

Nina Turner
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