Methane

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This is about Methane as a Greenhouse Gas. Methane is also the principal component of the Fossil Fuel "Natural Gas".

Emissions

Study Finds Fossil Fuel Methane Emissions Greater than Previously Estimated University of Colorado Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences; 5 Oct 2016

Methane emissions from fossil fuel development around the world are up to 60 percent greater than estimated by previous studies, according to new research led by scientists from CIRES and NOAA. The study found that fossil fuel activities contribute between 132 million and 165 million tons of the 623 million tons of methane emitted by all sources every year. That’s about 20 to 25 percent of total global methane emissions, and 20 to 60 percent more than previous studies estimated.
However, the findings also confirm other work by NOAA scientists that conclude fossil fuel facilities are not directly responsible for the increased rate of global atmospheric methane emissions measured in the atmosphere since 2007.

Oil, Gas and Cows Culprits in Methane Spike, Study Says Bobby Magill; Climate Central; 7 Oct 2016

a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study published Thursday in the journal Nature paints a different picture of the role oil and gas have played in the global methane spike. The study shows that even though fossil fuels development has polluted the atmosphere with up to 60 percent more methane than scientists previously thought, the main culprits behind the rise in global methane levels are wetlands, landfills, rice fields and belching cows.

Study Ties U.S. to Spike in Global Methane Emissions Bobby Magill; Climate Central; 16 Feb 2016

There was a huge global spike in one of the most potent greenhouse gases driving climate change over the last decade, and the U.S. may be the biggest culprit, according a new Harvard University study. The United States alone could be responsible for between 30 percent and 60 percent of the global growth in human-caused atmospheric methane emissions since 2002 because of a 30 percent spike in methane emissions across the country, the study says.

A large increase in U.S. methane emissions over the past decade inferred from satellite data and surface observations A. J. Turner, D. J. Jacob, J. Benmergui, S. C. Wofsy, J. D. Maasakkers, A. Butz, O. Hasekamp, S. C. Biraud; Geophysical Research Letters; 2 Mar 2016

The global burden of atmospheric methane has been increasing over the past decade, but the causes are not well understood. National inventory estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicate no significant trend in U.S. anthropogenic methane emissions from 2002 to present. Here we use satellite retrievals and surface observations of atmospheric methane to suggest that U.S. methane emissions have increased by more than 30% over the 2002–2014 period. The trend is largest in the central part of the country, but we cannot readily attribute it to any specific source type. This large increase in U.S. methane emissions could account for 30–60% of the global growth of atmospheric methane seen in the past decade.

Agriculture

Scientists attribute rising methane levels to agriculture phys.org; 11 Mar 2016

A breakthrough in understanding about the causes of climate change has today been published online in the prestigious international journal Science.
The findings of a study initiated by NIWA scientists, rule out fossil fuel production as the major cause in the rise of methane levels in the atmosphere since 2007.
The research, led by NIWA atmospheric scientist Hinrich Schaefer, has concluded that increasing levels of methane in the atmosphere since 2007 are most likely due to agricultural practices, and not fossil fuel production as previously thought.

Natural Gas production

Why the Gas Leak in California No One Is Talking About Is Such a Disaster

It has drawn remarkably little attention outside the West Coast, but a massive methane gas leak 25 miles northwest of Los Angeles is wreaking havoc with the community, displacing thousands of families and posing arguably the worst environmental catastrophe since the 2010 BP oil spill along the Gulf Coast. The crisis began a little more than two months ago in the quiet community of Porter Ranch with the rupture of a huge underground containment system that holds methane-laden natural gas piped there from extractions hundreds of miles away in Texas, the Rocky Mountains and the Midwest.

Methane leaks erode green credentials of natural gas Jeff Tollefson; Nature news; 2 Jan 2013

Losses of up to 9% show need for broader data on US gas industry’s environmental impact.

NASA Study Analyzes Four Corners Methane Sources NASA JPL; 15 Aug 2016

In an extensive airborne survey, a NASA-led team has analyzed a previously identified "hot spot" of methane emissions in the Four Corners region of the United States, quantifying both its overall magnitude and the magnitudes of its sources. The study finds that just 10 percent of the individual methane sources are contributing half of the emissions.

What this 2,500-square-mile methane cloud tells us about gas leaks Ramón Alvarez; Environmental Defense Fund; 16 Aug 2016