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Monday, October 7, 2013

Fracktivists Tout Another Study as a Problem For Fracking

From ThinkProgress:
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that methane (CH4) is far more potent a greenhouse gas than we had previously realized.
This matters to the fracking debate because methane leaks throughout the lifecycle of unconventional gas. Natural gas is, after all, mostly methane (CH4). 
We learned last month that the best fracked wells appear to have low emissions of methane, but that study likely missed the high-emitting wells that result in the vast majority of methane leakage. Back in August, a NOAA-ledstudy measured a stunning 6% to 12% methane leakage over one of the country’s largest gas fields — which would gut the climate benefits of switching from coal to gas.
We’ve known for a long time that methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide (CO2), which is released when any hydrocarbon, like natural gas, is burned.
But the IPCC’s latest report, released Monday (big PDF here), reports that methane is 34 times stronger a heat-trapping gas than CO2 over a 100-year time scale, so its global-warming potential (GWP) is 34. That is a nearly 40% increase from the IPCC’s previous estimate of 25.
Read the rest of the article here. 

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