Natural gas is widely viewed as a clean fuel, but methane, its main component, is a powerful greenhouse gas. Two experts propose a plan for detecting and cutting methane leaks across North America.
The European Investment Bank's funding of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline will harm the climate and makes little financial sense.
A tax on beef isn't likely to achieve the intended outcome of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, it could create a spate of unintended consequences.
Canadians are a wasteful bunch, especially during the holidays. Redesign your holidays this year to cut back on garbage and food waste.
New experimental results on methane may help us to uncover whether Uranus really is the coldest planet.
Global greenhouse gas levels have hit their highest point in at least 3 million years, according to new figures from the World Meteorological Organisation.
Landfills produce huge amounts of methane. Many of the bigger operators capture it to turn into energy, but they’re wasting about 80% of what’s available. It’s time Australia stepped up.
Canadians love to paddle on them and camp beside them, but our boreal lakes offer more than just peace and beauty. They could provide clues to how life on Earth began.
Set aside the politics. If by some miracle we turned off carbon emissions immediately, how would the climate respond?
While the gases most responsible for global warming - carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide - continue to climb, other industrial greenhouse gases are being brought gradually under control.
Why use satellites to study Earth's climate? Researchers leading a new mission explain how images from space will help them analyze which parts of the Americas soak up the most carbon.
Methane from food production might be the next wildcard in climate change
Pep Canadell, CSIRO; Ben Poulter, NASA; Marielle Saunois, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace; Paul Krummel, CSIRO; Philippe Bousquet, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines – Université Paris-Saclay , and Rob Jackson, Stanford University
Methane concentrations in the atmosphere are growing at a faster rate than any time in the past 20 years.
The Obama administration wants to regulate methane leaks from oil and gas operations. Here's why we can't count on market forces to make it work.
To meet global climate change targets, agriculture needs an array of innovations and money to get farmers around the world to adopt new practices.
Coal seam gas may not be responsible for a flaming river in Queensland, but it still raises uncomfortable questions.
Eating meat means greenhouse emissions. But the emissions from growing crops may have been underestimated, meaning that a climate-friendly diet isn't as straightforward as simply going vegetarian.
Eating less meat isn't the only solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from livestock.
If we do find life on Mars, it will be difficult to prove that we didn't bring it there from Earth. An insider talks us through what's at stake.
Fossil fuel emissions are slowing, but another major climate problem is becoming clear: food production.
Methane is a stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and Australia's coal mines are a major source.
Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases, second only to carbon dioxide in its ability to absorb thermal radiation. It is naturally produced by wetlands, while humans emit methane in large quantities through the use of oil and gas for energy, livestock farming, coal mining, and landfills.
In recent years, methane levels have been on the rise. Global atmospheric levels rose 1-2% in the 1970s and 1980s, leveled out in the 1990s, and then continued to rise in the 2000s. Although scientists have established this increase, they have found it more challenging to determine which anthropogenic sources are most responsible for methane emissions, because sources often overlap and are difficult to quantify.
Here, Turner et al. obtained data from government sources, including the Greenhouse Gas Inventory of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to determine how much methane the United States is contributing to global emissions. They also used data from the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT), launched into low orbit in January 2009. By examining GOSAT data for the United States from January 2010 to January 2014, the researchers could determine how methane levels fluctuated over every region in the country.
U.S. EPA inventory data showed that emissions from oil and gas and from livestock each accounted for about a third of the methane produced by the United States, while landfill waste accounted for 21-22% and coal was responsible for 10-13% of methane emissions.
The researchers found that U.S. methane emissions have increased by more than 30% in the past decade, making the United States a hefty contributor to the global rise in emissions. It seems the increase is largely caused by sources in the central United States—the only region in the nation to show statistically significant increases in methane production. Recent increases in oil and gas production as well as shale gas production may possibly account for this change, but other sources could be involved as well.