Tag Archive: methane

Methane in the gas system is a problem or not? Replacing of coal with natural gas has really climate benefits? Recent studies help us to form new way to thinking about climate change and GHG effect.

Watts Up With That?

There’s a lot of hullabaloo recently about Natural Gas being too leaky to be a good substitute for coal. The claim is based on the fact that methane has a much larger GHG potential than carbon dioxide. But, the study those claims are based on can be interpreted two ways. I tend to think that the leak issue might be overblown, because if you are a producer, leaks mean money literally going into thin air. There’s a high incentive to fix leaks. Abandoned oil and gas wells, cited in the study, would of course be an exception.

The other reason is the IPCC, which produced this graph in the AR5 draft showing that methane just isn’t cooperating with models, and measurements are out of bounds with projections. Methane just doesn’t seem to be much of a problem:

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Source: Nature Geoscience–Article posted by robertscribbler -Scribbling for economic, social and environmental justice blog


A recent paper in Nature Geoscience has shown that human caused warming could pump enough methane out of the Arctic tundra to raise the Earth’s temperature by between .4 and 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The paper, entitled Significant contribution to climate warming from the permafrost carbon feedback, showed that between 6 and 44 percent of all permafrost carbon could be emitted by 2100.

Since there’s more carbon in the permafrost than what has been historically emitted via fossil fuels, this number is large and very significant. The result of such an emission, even on the lower end, would be a significant contribution from nature to an already difficult to deal with man-made warming.

Research indicated that carbon emissions would be equal to between 40 and 100 additional parts per million CO2. However, a substantial portion of this increase would, initially, be methane, which, as a greenhouse gas, is 25 to…

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