New Study: Methane Emissions Far Higher Than Previously Thought
Found this today, had to share. New study draws into question long held beliefs concerning methane and drilling. Key findings:
- Total methane emissions in the United States appear to be 1.5 times and 1.7 times higher than the amounts previously estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) and the international Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) [link], respectively.
- The new findings result from differences in way methane is measured in the new study. The E.P.A. and EDGAR use a bottom-up approach, calculating total emissions based on “emissions factors” — the amount of methane typically released per cow or per unit of coal or natural gas sold, for example. The new study takes a top-down approach, measuring what is actually present in the atmosphere and then using meteorological data and statistical analysis to trace it back to regional sources.
- Results are higher by a factor of 2.7 over the south-central United States, a key region for fossil fuel extraction and refining.