GREENHOUSE GASES

Not so fast

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Science  10 May 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6440, pp. 543-544
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6440.543-g

Methane emissions from oil and natural gas production in the United States may not be rising as quickly as had been feared. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is emitted during the natural gas production cycle, so the nearly 50% increase in natural gas production from 2006 to 2015 raised the concern that emissions have risen too. Lan et al. found that this is not the case and that, in fact, total methane emissions have remained essentially constant over that period. They suggest that the overestimates of some recent studies are a function of a decreasing ratio of methane to ethane emissions.

Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1029/2018GL081731 (2019).

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