Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Methane emissions vastly surpass previous estimates

Date:
November 25, 2013
Source:
Carnegie Institution
Summary:
Government calculations of total US methane emissions may underestimate the true values by 50 percent, a new study finds. The results cast doubt on a recent Environmental Protection Agency decision to downscale its emissions estimate.

Government calculations of total U.S. methane emissions may underestimate the true values by 50 percent, a new study finds. The results are published the week of November 25 in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and cast doubt on a recent Environmental Protection Agency decision to downscale its emissions estimate.

Carnegie's Anna Michalak, Harvard's Scot Miller and Steven Wofsy, and colleagues used atmospheric methane observations from across North America in 2007 and 2008 to improve estimates of methane gas emissions from a variety of human sources, including agriculture and fossil fuel drilling and refining.

The study found large discrepancies with government estimates in some regions of the United States, particularly the south-central US, where total methane emissions were 2.7 times greater than those reported in most inventories. Emissions from oil and gas drilling and processing in this region could account for 50% of that total, representing a source of methane almost five times higher than in the most commonly used global emissions database.

Methane is the second-most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide, and the study findings may help inform national and state greenhouse gas reduction strategies, according to the authors.

The team used modeling tools developed by Michalak's lab that make it possible to trace variations in atmospheric methane measurements back to emissions throughout the U.S., and to relate the emissions to known economic sectors. The methods thereby provide a direct constraint on total emissions, as well as provide insight into what is behind them.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. M. Miller, S. C. Wofsy, A. M. Michalak, E. A. Kort, A. E. Andrews, S. C. Biraud, E. J. Dlugokencky, J. Eluszkiewicz, M. L. Fischer, G. Janssens-Maenhout, B. R. Miller, J. B. Miller, S. A. Montzka, T. Nehrkorn, C. Sweeney. Anthropogenic emissions of methane in the United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1314392110

Cite This Page:

Carnegie Institution. "Methane emissions vastly surpass previous estimates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125164442.htm>.
Carnegie Institution. (2013, November 25). Methane emissions vastly surpass previous estimates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125164442.htm
Carnegie Institution. "Methane emissions vastly surpass previous estimates." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125164442.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

AP (July 21, 2014) New Orleans is the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort for cigarette butts. The city is rolling out dozens of containers for smokers to use when they discard their butts. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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