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2016-03-22. U.S. Methane Emissions on the Rise.

posted Mar 29, 2016, 2:55 AM by Alan Gould
By Shannon Kelleher, EoS Earth and Space Science News (AGU). For GSS Climate Change chapter 3. Excerpt:  Data suggest that the United States may be responsible for half of global methane increase in the past decade. Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases, second only to carbon dioxide in its ability to absorb thermal radiation. It is naturally produced by wetlands, and humans emit methane in large quantities through the use of oil and gas for energy, livestock farming, coal mining, and landfills. ...Global atmospheric levels rose 1%–2% in the 1970s and 1980s, leveled out in the 1990s, and then continued to rise in the 2000s. ...U.S. EPA inventory data showed that emissions from oil and gas and from livestock each accounted for about a third of the methane produced by the United States, while landfill waste accounted for 21%–22% and coal was responsible for 10%–13% of methane emissions. The researchers found that U.S. methane emissions have increased by more than 30% in the past decade, making the United States a hefty contributor to the global rise in emissions. It seems the increase is largely caused by sources in the central United States—the only region in the nation to show statistically significant increases in methane production. Recent increases in oil and gas production as well as shale gas production may possibly account for this change, but other sources could be involved as well....  https://eos.org/research-spotlights/u-s-methane-emissions-on-the-rise