10 Apr 2012:
Natural Gas Drilling
Causes Sizeable Methane Leaks, Study Says
A new study says that methane leaks from natural gas drilling, particularly hydraulic fracturing, are likely higher than previously estimated and concludes that converting vehicles from gasoline to compressed
natural gas will actually produce more greenhouse gas emissions unless methane leaks are significantly reduced. The study, authored by scientists from the Environmental Defense Fund and several universities, says that replacing coal-fired power plants with natural gas-fired power plants does lead to a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, though not as steep a drop as gas industry advocates contend. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
, examines the “technology warming potentials” of different fossil fuels and concludes that significantly better research needs to be undertaken to determine exactly how much methane — a far more potent but shorter-lived greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide — leaks during the entire cycle of natural gas drilling and transport. The U.S. government has estimated the leakage rate at 2.4 percent, but some other studies suggest it is higher.
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Yale Environment 360
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
Ugandan scientists monitor the impact of climate change on one of Africa’s most diverse forests and its extraordinary wildlife. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.