Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Global Warming: Reducing Methane Emissions Could Lower Overall Abatement Costs

Date:
November 4, 1999
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Achieving a reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions that is large enough to mitigate the effects of global warming can be a daunting task. As reported in the Oct. 29 issue of Science, a team of atmospheric scientists, economists and emissions experts has found that by including methane in abatement strategies, the costs of meeting U.S. emission-reduction targets could be lowered.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Achieving a reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions that is large enough to mitigate the effects of global warming can be a daunting task. As reported in the Oct. 29 issue of Science, a team of atmospheric scientists, economists and emissions experts has found that by including methane in abatement strategies, the costs of meeting U.S. emission-reduction targets could be lowered.

Related Articles


"In our study, we assessed the potential cost savings of introducing an additional greenhouse gas, methane, into a carbon dioxide emission-reduction strategy," said Katharine Hayhoe, a researcher in atmospheric sciences at the University of Illinois and the lead author of the Science paper. "We estimate that for short-term targets, methane can offset carbon dioxide reductions and reduce U.S. abatement costs by more than 25 percent compared to strategies involving carbon dioxide alone."

The recent Kyoto Protocol calls for a 7 percent reduction in U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions by the budget period 2008-2012, Hayhoe said. As yet, the United States has not agreed to the terms of the protocol. However, using the latest carbon dioxide and methane abatement costs for the United States, the researchers showed that a joint control strategy could meet the protocol's target and timetable at a lower overall cost when compared with previous estimates that account for carbon dioxide only.

There are five major sources of man-made methane in the United States -- landfills, coal mining, livestock, manure systems and the production and transmission of natural gas. A significant amount of these emissions can be reduced through the use of currently available, economically justified and easily verified options. Such options include capturing the methane and recovering the cost of the emission-reduction technology by selling the gas or using it to displace other energy inputs.

"Most of these methane abatement technologies can be quickly implemented," said Atul Jain, a U. of I. atmospheric scientist. "Methane emission reductions are most effective for smaller reduction targets, where mitigation technologies with low or zero net costs account for much of the abatement."

Because of its short atmospheric response time of about 12 years, methane concentrations will respond quickly to emission reductions, producing an immediate and significant impact on climate change, Jain said. In contrast, the effect of reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, which are slowly removed from the atmosphere over 50-200 years, will not be seen for some time.

"Methane is the second-most important greenhouse gas. Together, methane and other non-carbon dioxide gases are currently responsible for about 40 percent of the global warming problem," said Don Wuebbles, a U. of I. professor of atmospheric sciences. "However, reducing carbon dioxide emissions is still the primary means of achieving significant long-term mitigation of climate change."

Collaborators on the study included Hugh Pitcher and Chris MacCracken of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Reid Harvey and Dina Kruger of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Michael Gibbs of the ICF Kaiser Consulting Group.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Global Warming: Reducing Methane Emissions Could Lower Overall Abatement Costs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991104070820.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (1999, November 4). Global Warming: Reducing Methane Emissions Could Lower Overall Abatement Costs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991104070820.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Global Warming: Reducing Methane Emissions Could Lower Overall Abatement Costs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991104070820.htm (accessed April 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Voice-Controlled GPS Helmet to Help Bikers

Voice-Controlled GPS Helmet to Help Bikers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) — Motorcyclists will no longer have to rely on maps or GPS systems, both of which require riders to take their eyes off the road, once a new Russian smart helmet goes on sale this summer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kashmir Mops Up After Heavy Flooding

Kashmir Mops Up After Heavy Flooding

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) — The clean-up operation is in full swing in Indian Kashmir after heavy rain triggered flooding around the mountainous region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Unveils Historic Water Restrictions Over Drought

California Unveils Historic Water Restrictions Over Drought

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) — California announced sweeping state-wide water restrictions for the first time in history Wednesday in order to combat the region&apos;s devastating drought, the worst since records began. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Station Captures Images of Massive Typhoon

Space Station Captures Images of Massive Typhoon

Reuters - News Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) — Images from the International Space Station show a massive typhoon forming as the Philippines warns residents to be ready for super typhoon "Maysak." Display (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins