‘This is a really big deal’: Canada natural gas emissions far worse than feared

‘This is a really big deal’: Canada natural gas emissions far worse than feared

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: October 18, 2017 SNIP: Alberta’s oil and gas industry – Canada’s largest producer of fossil fuel resources – could be emitting 25 to 50% more methane than previously believed, new research has suggested. The pioneering peer reviewed study, published in Environmental Science & Technology on Tuesday, used airplane surveys to measure methane emissions from oil and gas infrastructure in two regions in Alberta. The results were then compared with industry-reported emissions and estimates of unreported sources of the powerful greenhouse gas, which warm the planet more than 20 times as much as similar volumes of carbon dioxide. “Our first reaction was ‘Oh my goodness, this is a really big deal,” said Matthew Johnson, a professor at Carleton University in Ottawa and one of the study’s authors. “If we thought it was bad, it’s worse.” The study then sought to conservatively extrapolate the findings, correcting only for sites that are home to heavy oil. What they found was in Alberta – home to 68% of Canada’s natural gas production, 47% of its light crude oil production as well as 80% of all crude oil and equivalents – total emissions were likely 25 to 50% higher than previous government estimates. The findings excluded mined oil sands, which are believed to be responsible for about 11% of methane...
Baltic Sea clams ‘giving off as much gas as 20,000 cows’

Baltic Sea clams ‘giving off as much gas as 20,000 cows’

SOURCE: BBC News DATE: October 13, 2017 SNIP: Scientists have found clams and worms in the Baltic Sea are giving off as much gas as 20,000 dairy cows. They are worried because large amounts of methane and nitrous oxides are being released from the bacteria in their guts. The discovery of these greenhouse gases means they will need to be taken into account when tackling global warming. A Cardiff and Stockholm universities’ study found 10% of methane emissions from the Baltic Sea came from clams. The study’s co-author Dr Ernest Chi Fru, from Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, said: “What is puzzling is that the Baltic Sea makes up only about 0.1% of Earth’s oceans, implying that globally, apparently harmless bivalve animals at the bottom of the world’s oceans may in fact be contributing ridiculous amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere that is unaccounted...
Methane emissions from cattle are 11% higher than estimated

Methane emissions from cattle are 11% higher than estimated

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: September 29, 2017 SNIP: Emissions of the greenhouse gas methane from livestock are larger than previously thought, posing an additional challenge in the fight to curb global warming, scientists have said. Revised calculations of methane produced per head of cattle show that global livestock emissions in 2011 were 11% higher than estimates based on data from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). Methane is far more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, capturing more of the sun’s radiative force, but it persists for less time in the atmosphere. Taking that into account, scientists calculate that over a 100-year period the “global-warming potential” of the gas is 28 times greater than for carbon...
Man-made fossil methane emission levels larger than previously believed

Man-made fossil methane emission levels larger than previously believed

SOURCE: AAAS and Oregon State University DATE: August 24, 2017 SNIP: In a new paper published in Nature, the researchers report two important findings regarding methane, a powerful greenhouse gas and large contributor to global warming: First, the risk that warming will trigger methane release from large natural reservoirs of ancient carbon seems to be low. Second, humans are probably contributing more methane to the atmosphere through fossil fuel use and extraction than scientists previously believed. Reducing methane emissions from fossil fuels may therefore be an even more important factor in reducing global warming. “Our results are suggesting that anthropogenic (man-made) fossil fuel methane emissions are even larger than previously thought,” Petrenko says. “This means we have even more leverage to fight global warming by curbing methane emissions from our fossil fuel...
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...