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Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:53 AM

 

NOAA Confirms High Methane Leakage Rate Up To **9%** From Gas Fields [View all]

NOAA Confirms High Methane Leakage Rate Up To 9% From Gas Fields, Gutting Climate Benefit

Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have reconfirmed earlier findings of high rates of methane leakage from natural gas fields. If these findings are replicated elsewhere, they would utterly vitiate the climate benefit of natural gas, even when used to switch off coal.

… the research team reported new Colorado data that support the earlier work, as well as preliminary results from a field study in the Uinta Basin of Utah suggesting even higher rates of methane leakage — an eye-popping 9% of the total production. That figure is nearly double the cumulative loss rates estimated from industry data — which are already higher in Utah than in Colorado.

Leakage of 4%, let alone 9%, would call into question the value of unconventional gas as any sort of bridge fuel. Colm Sweeney, the head of the aircraft program at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, who led the study’s aerial component, told Nature:

“We were expecting to see high methane levels, but I don’t think anybody really comprehended the true magnitude of what we would see.”

Humanity appears to have two choices. Stop using fossil fuels almost entirely, almost immediately, or face thousands of years of temperatures well above what civilization can tolerate. In other words: we either lose civilization by dropping fossil fuels, or we lose civilization through climate change. Thank God we still have a choice...

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Reply NOAA Confirms High Methane Leakage Rate Up To **9%** From Gas Fields [View all]
GliderGuider Jan 2013 OP
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