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 September 16, 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 September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
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