Saturday, April 16, 2011

Research on the impacts of natural gas on climate

With the current current glut of shale gas, there's a temptation to consider most of our energy problems solved if we can only move to gas from coal and imported petroleum products quickly enough.

Cornell's Robert Howarth has just published research indicating that shale gas is likely worse for climate change than coal over the next twenty years, and conventional natural gas may even be worse than coal. Over the next century, the differences seem to even out, but emissions from shale and conventional gas seem to remain in the general region of coal emissions.

Check out their Web site for more information. While I've watched less than a half so far, their video seems informative--or wait for their published paper.

3 Comments:

Blogger Tom Fiddaman said...

I have a hard time seeing the glut as definitive. Gas prices are certainly off their ca. 2005 highs, but they're also nowhere near their long run levels in the 80s and 90s.
http://www.eia.doe.gov/dnav/ng/hist/n9190us3m.htm There may be a lot of gas in place, but there may also be a lot of bottlenecks to exploiting it.

Realclimate has a perspective on the emissions issue http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/04/fracking-methane/

19 April, 2011 07:38  
Blogger Bill Harris said...

Tom, thanks for the follow-up. I found that RealClimate posting, too, and I was going to post it here when I got a free minute. You helped people find that more quickly than I have.

20 April, 2011 19:03  
Blogger Tom Fiddaman said...

Bottlenecks at work:
http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/04/fracking_spill_in_bradford_cou.html

20 April, 2011 19:11  

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