Methane’s profile on the rise as gas raises global warming worries

Scientists have known for years that methane, emitted by cows and landfills alike, is a potent ingredient in global warming — unless the gas is collected and used for fuel.

Yet methane hasn’t gotten anywhere near the same attention as carbon dioxide from governments and businesses aiming to stop climate change without hindering economies.

That is changing now as methane makes headlines because of new numbers showing more leakage than previously thought from natural gas wells and pipelines. Some critics say natural gas is a worse climate-change polluter than coal. That’s hotly disputed by energy companies.

“Methane, especially from the natural gas industry, has come much more to the fore very recently, since early 2011,” said Vignesh Gowrishankar, a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

One reason for the sudden attention: Last year, the EPA revised years of data to show that the leading source of methane emissions nationally wasn’t livestock flatulence — it was natural gas production.

Star-Ledger

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3 responses to “Methane’s profile on the rise as gas raises global warming worries

  1. “Last year, the EPA revised years of data to show that the leading source of methane emissions nationally wasn’t livestock flatulence — it was natural gas production.”

    They revised the data “to show” . . . sounds like NOAA adjustment of temperature records.

  2. When methane was in “short supply” and expensive, it was the way to go to stop global warming. Now that it is relatively abundant and inexpensive it seems to be a big worry.

  3. Its a big worry because natural gas reduces carbon emissions and is a threat to the green socialists pet industries solar and wind. The cheaper and convenient gas becomes, the more expensive and inconvenient solar and wind become. So now natural gas is bad.

    I don’t know how greenies get along each day, I really don’t.

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