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.
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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