Experts warn gas pipes are in real danger from exploding tundra

Experts warn gas pipes are in real danger from exploding tundra

SOURCE: Arctic Now DATE: July 26, 2017 SNIP: Russia’s leading expert on methane explosions on the tundra, Professor Vasily Bogoyavlensky, tells the Siberian Times that in some places swelling tundra jacks up gas pipes. His analysis show gas pipelines running over the swelling tundra on the Yamal Peninsula. The region has Russia’s largest and most important natural gas fields and is key to supplying Europe. The unstable tundra is due to the release of underground methane that had been frozen in permafrost, but is now thawing due to rapidly rising temperatures in the Arctic. Over the last three years, several methane explosions in the Yamal region have created huge craters, some up to 50 meters (about 165 feet) deep and tens of meters in...
Methane Seeps Out as Arctic Permafrost Starts to Resemble Swiss Cheese

Methane Seeps Out as Arctic Permafrost Starts to Resemble Swiss Cheese

SOURCE: Inside Climate News DATE: July 19, 2017 SNIP: Global warming may be unleashing new sources of heat-trapping methane from layers of oil and gas that have been buried deep beneath Arctic permafrost for millennia. As the Earth’s frozen crust thaws, some of that gas appears to be finding new paths to the surface through permafrost that’s starting to resemble Swiss cheese in some areas, scientists said. In a study released today, the scientists used aerial sampling of the atmosphere to locate methane sources from permafrost along a 10,000 square-kilometer swath of the Mackenzie River Delta in northwestern Canada, an area known to have oil and gas deposits. “This is another methane source that has not been included so much in the models,” said the study’s lead author, Katrin Kohnert, a climate scientist at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam,...

New science reveals unreported methane pollution from B.C.’s oil and gas industry threatens Canada’s international climate commitments

SOURCE: DavidSuzuki.org DATE: April 26, 2017 SNIP: Groundbreaking new research estimates fugitive methane emissions from B.C. oil and natural gas operations — the majority of which use hydraulic fracturing (fracking) — are at least 2.5 times higher than reported by the B.C. government and may be much higher. The study, conducted by the David Suzuki Foundation in partnership with St. Francis Xavier University, is the first on-the-ground, comprehensive research on methane emissions in Canada. It highlights the urgent need for the federal government to get methane emissions under control and not delay action as it recently proposed. “Our peer-reviewed research shows the true magnitude of Canada’s methane pollution problem is much bigger than previously estimated by industry and government,” Ian Bruce, Foundation director of science and policy...
7,000 underground gas bubbles poised to ‘explode’ in Arctic

7,000 underground gas bubbles poised to ‘explode’ in Arctic

SOURCE: Siberian Times and IFLS.com DATE: March 20, 2017 SNIP: Scientists have discovered as many as 7,000 gas-filled ‘bubbles’ expected to explode in Actic regions of Siberia after an exercise involving field expeditions and satellite surveillance, TASS reported. The total of 7,000 – reported by TASS – is startlingly more than previously known. Back in 2016, Siberia’s amusingly named Bely Island made headlines around the world after sections of its grassy landscape became somewhat bouncy. As it turned out, the island was leaking greenhouse gases at a remarkable rate. In fact, the air escaping from the ground there contained 100 times more methane and 25 times more carbon dioxide – the two most potent greenhouse gases by far – than the surrounding atmosphere. This time last year, just 15 of these near-surface, water-coated methane bubbles had been identified. Now, as reported by the Siberian Times, there are 7,000 of them. Considering that methane is incredibly flammable, it’s also likely that some of these bubbles will dramatically explode without much of a...
Study: Natural Gas Power Plants Emit up to 120 Times More Methane Than Previously Estimated

Study: Natural Gas Power Plants Emit up to 120 Times More Methane Than Previously Estimated

SOURCE: DeSmogBlog DATE: March 20, 2017 SNIP: Researchers at Purdue University and the Environmental Defense Fund have concluded in a recent study that natural gas power plants release 21–120 times more methane than earlier estimates. Published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the study also found that for oil refineries, emission rates were 11–90 times more than initial estimates. Natural gas, long touted as a cleaner and more climate-friendly alternative to burning coal, is obtained in the U.S. mostly via the controversial horizontal drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). “[Methane is] a better fuel all around as long as you don’t spill it,” Paul Shepson, an atmospheric chemistry professor at Purdue, said in a press release. “But it doesn’t take much methane leakage to ruin your whole day if you care about climate change.” The Purdue-EDF research results were published the same week President Donald Trump proposed massive cuts to the EPA, which would include a 23 percent cut to the enforcement division tasked with overseeing emissions at gas-fired power plants and oil refineries. The Trump administration has also announced its intentions to halt former President Barack Obama’s proposed methane emissions rule for gas situated on U.S. public lands and has already reversed the Obama EPA’s information request for methane emissions data from U.S. domestic oil and gas...