Natural gas is not part of the climate solution, it’s part of the problem: How fracking [methane leakage] fuels global warmingLeave a Comment
Researchers found that some 17 teragrams of the 25 teragram annual increase is from fossil fuel production, 12 is from wetlands or rice farming, while fires are decreasing emissions by 4 teragrams (17 + 12 – 4 = 25).
- The huge rise in fossil fuel methane emissions “found here is substantially larger than in previous literature.”
- Methane (CH4) traps 86 times as much heat as CO2 over a 20-year period. That’s why countless studies find that even a very small leakage rate of methane from the natural gas supply chain (production to delivery to combustion) can have a large climate impact — enough to gut the entire benefit of switching from coal-fired power to gas for a long, long time.
- [see previous post on methane increase globally likely from fracking not from cows here]
A new NASA study is one final nail in the coffin of the myth that natural gas is a climate solution, or a “bridge” from the dirtiest fossil fuels to low-carbon fuels like solar and wind.
NASA found that most of the huge rise in global methane emissions in the past decade is in fact from the fossil fuel industry–and that this rise is “substantially larger” than previously thought. And that means natural gas is, as many earlier studies have found, not a climate solution.
The global-warming potential (GWP) of methane over 20 years and 100 years, with and without climate-carbon feedbacks (cc fb). Via IPCC. https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter08_FINAL.pdf (p.731 or 73-79 of pdf)
Natural gas is mostly methane, a potent greenhouse gas. And methane emissions are responsible for about a quarter of the human-caused global warming we’re suffering today….
Reduced biomass burning emissions reconcile conflicting estimates of the post-2006 atmospheric methane budget, John R. Worden, A. Anthony Bloom, Sudhanshu Pandey, Zhe Jiang, Helen Worden, Thomas Walker, Sander Houweling, and Thomas Röckmann, Nature Communications, 20 December 2017.