The San Juan Basin has the largest coal-bed methane production field in the United States. Natural Gas Fugitive Emissions Rates Constrained by Global Atmospheric Methane and Ethane. Microbes on the ocean floor and living within the water column usually consume it or convert it into carbon dioxide first. (Before the Industrial Revolution, concentrations held steady at about 700 ppb.) But the rate of increase in recent decades has varied. “Part of the reason there is so much interest in methane right now is because reducing those emissions could slow warming over the next few decades. CARVE scientists observed this phenomena when bursts of high methane levels were recorded progressively northward in three separate flights. Nighttime satellite images show points of light—some of them gas flares—in rural parts of North Dakota, Texas, and Colorado. “TOPDOWN offers a perfect example of the approach the scientific community needs to take to understand why methane concentrations are on the rise,” said Frankenberg. (NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using data from the EPA.). “That means the climate effects of methane are front-loaded,” explained Drew Shindell, a climate scientist at Duke University. Meanwhile, Haris Riris, a scientist based at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, is developing a next-generation lidar sensor that could have even greater sensitivity and precision than the sensor on MERLIN. Through the Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE), researchers flew over northern Alaska each summer for the past four years. Schneising and colleagues found a significant increase in the concentration of methane over both gas fields as drilling activities ramped up. Preliminary analyses suggest fossil fuel extraction is probably a key source of the methane. While the oil and gas industry has fractured rock formations to get more oil for decades, the fracking boom in recent years has changed the game. NOAA’s network of ground sensors has not picked up anything unusual, though the number of observing stations in the Arctic is small. Methane emissions estimate from airborne measurements over a western United States natural gas field. But “downstream” leakage also occurs at gas processing facilities, pipelines, and other gas transportation and storage infrastructure. Until we know more, this should give pause to anyone promoting shale gas as a bridge fuel.”, Nearly one quarter of the ice-free land in the northern hemisphere has permafrost beneath it. “Remember that this is a map of methane anomalies and not a map of methane emissions. Remote Sensing, Atmosphere (NASA Earth Observatory map by Joshua Stevens, using AIRS data. To pinpoint the sources, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) organized the Twin Otter Projects Defining Oil Well and Natural gas emissions (TOPDOWN) field campaign in April 2015. Until the early 20th century, wood and coal dominated US energy use (heating and electricity). At about 50 sites around the world, researchers collect air samples in flasks each week and send them to Colorado for detailed analysis. Scientists wonder if they will have the right monitoring systems in place to answer that question adequately. (NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using data from NOAA.). For that degree of detail, you need airplane and ground observations.”, Drilling pads dot the landscape of the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States. “We know that permafrost soils are warming even faster than Arctic air temperatures—as much as 2.7 to 4.5 degrees in just the past 30 years,” said Charles Miller, the principal investigator for CARVE. But the simple existence of such seeps illustrates how methane could theoretically escape when underlying soils and waters emerge from beneath ice cover. Methane is reported as a “dry air mole fraction”, defined as the number of … : 35% LEL of methane, its LEL is 2vol% That is, ppm = 35 (% LEL) * 2 (vol%) * 100 = 7000 ppm methane %LEL=ppm/(LEL(vol%)*100) ppm is the volume concentration. Global atmospheric carbon dioxide was 409.8 ± 0.1 ppm in 2019, a new record high. In the cold depths of the ocean, natural gas and water can meld into ice-like mixtures known as methane clathrates or gas hydrates. No satellite has detected anything unusual either, but making observations in the Arctic is challenging due to cloud cover and limited light during winter. They attribute it to drier conditions in the tropics, along with a decrease in fossil fuel use and agricultural emissions following the collapse of the former Soviet Union. The satellite observations were acquired between 2003 and 2009, before fracking shale was common. There is another vast store of methane on the planet. For instance, while methane emissions seemed to be at normal levels, the amount of carbon dioxide venting from the permafrost was high. In 2012, Shindell asserted in a scientific paper that reducing methane and black carbon would prevent 0.5 degrees (Celsius) of projected global warming by 2050. Turkmenistan's Darvaza Crater continues to burn decades after a drilling operation caused it to collapse.