"Methane Hunters: What Explains the Surge in the Potent Greenhouse Gas?"

"Levels of the gas are growing at a record rate and natural sources like wetlands are the cause, but scientists don’t know how to curb it."

"Every year, 6,000 flasks arrive at a laboratory in Boulder, Colorado. Inside each is a sample of air, taken from one of a chain of 50 monitoring stations that spans the globe. Together, these samples could help answer one of the most important questions facing the planet: why is there so much methane in the atmosphere?

Blue and black canisters filled with air from Algeria, Alaska, China and Samoa are lined up ready for testing. “We collect these flask samples, then they come back here,” said Ed Dlugokencky, a chemist at the Global Monitoring Laboratory, run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The laboratory measures the levels of different gases inside the samples, from carbon dioxide to nitrous oxide and sulfur hexafluoride, compiling a meticulous record that forms the basis for major climate models. About 15 years ago, its researchers observed an uptick in atmospheric methane, a potent greenhouse gas with a warming impact 80 times greater than CO2.

Many researchers initially assumed the increase was linked to fossil fuel production. Methane is the primary ingredient in natural gas but is also produced by other human activities such as landfills, rice paddies and raising cattle."

Leslie Hook and Chris Campbell report for the The Financial Times August 24, 2022.


"Report Of An Ancient Methane Release Raises Questions For Our Climate Future" (Washington Post)

"Provision From Inflation Reduction Act Aims To Reduce Methane Emissions From Oil, Gas Industries" (Spectrum News/NY1)

"It’s Happened Before: Paleoclimate Study Shows Warming Oceans Could Lead to a Spike in Seabed Methane Emissions" (Inside Climate News)

"Conceding to Manchin, U.S. Climate Bill Exempts Most Oil Industry From Methane Fees" (Reuters)

"Would The Climate Bill Slash Methane? It Depends" (E&E News)


Source: Financial Times, 08/25/2022