Gov’t Says Oil And Gas Not To Blame For Methane Emissions

Rice fields emit far more methane than oil and gas drilling.

Government research published Tuesday indicates that drilling for oil and gas isn’t to blame for rising methane emissions.

A collaborative effort between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado, Boulder attempted to link rising methane levels with the expansion of hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, in the U.S.

Instead, it discovered that methane emissions are rising because of “agricultural and wetland emissions” from the developing world.

NOAA’s official website, Climate.gov, now acknowledges that oil and gas activities in the U.S. are not to blame for rising global methane levels.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, which scientists say contributes to global warming. The substance is about 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas, but remains in the atmosphere for a shorter amount of time.

Methane emissions remained constant from 1999 to 2006, but have sharply risen since 2007. At first, scientists thought this may be due to the oil and gas industry, but further research debunked that hypothesis. Researchers discovered that a rare isotope called carbon-13 associated with oil and gas production had dropped “significantly” since 2007, meaning that oil and gas likely aren’t the culprit.

“The drop seems to rule out fossil fuel emissions, wildfires, or biomass cook stoves as the reason for the post-2007 methane surge,” scientists Rebecca Lindsey and Michon Scott wrote on Climate.gov. “All those sources of methane, to a greater or lesser extent, are enriched in carbon-13, not depleted.”

Reducing agricultural and wetland emissions of methane from the developing world could be exceedingly difficult, according to NOAA.

“Both of the likely contenders for the recent increase in emissions could be tricky to mitigate,” Lindsey and Scott wrote. “In developing countries with burgeoning populations, methane control could wind up pitted against the need to expand food production. If natural wetlands are the main source of the increase, control may not even be possible.”

Even though the oil and gas industry isn’t to blame for rising emissions, NOAA says government regulators  “might intensify the need to control emissions from other sources, including fossil fuels.”

Government regulations to reduce methane emissions have been estimated to cost as much as $155 million in 2020, possibly rising to $290 to $400 million by 2025, according to a study by National Economic Research Associates.

Read more at Daily Caller

Comments (2)

  • Avatar

    rakooi

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    Nutrient Poor wheat/grains when carbon dioxide levels in the air rise
    December 11, 2012

    Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have a negative impact on the protein content (less iron, less Zinc)
    of wheat grain and thus its nutritional quality. This is the finding of
    researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden,
    in a recently published study in the journal Global Change Biology.

    Elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide stimulate the photosynthesis and growth of most plants.
    However, unless plants increase their uptake of nutrients to a corresponding degree,
    their yields will have a lower nutritional value. A lower level of the nutrient nitrogen
    results in a lower protein content, and thus poorer nutritional quality.

    “Protein content is the most important quality aspect for crops,
    with implications for both nutritional value and the baking properties of the grain,”
    explains Håkan Pleijel, Professor of Environmental Science at the
    University of Gothenburg’s Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences.

    Researchers Håkan Pleijel and Johan Uddling have summarised the way in which experimentally
    elevated carbon dioxide levels affect the harvest index and protein content of wheat.
    The study includes 43 field experiments with 17 different varieties of wheat,
    carried out in ten countries across four continents. The results of the study are unequivocal:

    “Elevated carbon dioxide levels often increase the size of the grain yield,
    but also lead to a reduction in quality in the form of lower protein content,” says Professor Pleijel. Lower Iron. Lower Zinc.

    Invasive weeds are the biggest winners … as CO2 rises, Weeds spread far more rapidly.

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    The amount of carbon produced by man is tiny compared too nature espcialy when volcanos erupt and Gore as well as DiCaprio dont get any money and no one buys their junk science fake documenties and fake books

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