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kassy

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Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources

A bunch of methane sources have been discovered lately in surprising places like Cyanobacteria (see next post) and virusses in rivers and lakes.

Also quite a number of articles related to non permafrost methane have ended up in the Arctic Methane release thread.
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,12.0.html

I will be looking through the arctic methane thread and adding articles from there and some other threads later today or tomorrow.

PS: Antarctic methane release has it´s own thread (link not provided because it is easy to find in a search and it has not been active for a while)

There is not really a thread collecting all other methane sources so they end up all over the place.

So this thread is for collecting science on all these non arctic methane sources.




 
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kassy

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Re: Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2020, 12:42:36 PM »
Researchers Discover Surprising New Source Of Methane Emissions Lurking In Global Waters

...

"Cyanobacteria in surface water are a previously unknown source of methane and we were able to show for the first time that these bacteria produce the greenhouse gas methane during photosynthesis," said Dr Mina Bižić, from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), in a statement.

To come to their conclusions, researchers at IGB and Heidelberg University investigated 17 species of cyanobacteria that occur in the ocean, freshwater, and soil to see how methane is formed in the cell when light energy is converted to chemical energy. They then compared the amount of methane produced by cyanobacteria with that produced by methanogenic archaea and organisms with cell nuclei, or eukaryotes.

"Cyanobacteria produce less methane than archaea, but more methane than eukaryotes. It is difficult to estimate the global amount of methane produced by Cyanobacteria because there is a severe lack of detailed data on the biomass of these organisms in water and soil," said co-author Frank Keppler, professor at the Institute of Earth Sciences at Heidelberg University.

and more on:
https://www.iflscience.com/environment/researchers-discover-surprising-new-source-of-methane-emissions-lurking-in-global-waters/
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kassy

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Re: Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2020, 12:23:26 PM »
US methane releases related to the fossil fuel industry.


First post shows this has been on the radar for a while:

This paper uses geospatial analysis and shows that Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana have the highest concentration of methane emissions in the U.S. due to refinery operations.  They state that the emissions from these regions alone account for 4.1% of the total CO2equivalent global emissions.

This means that emissions inventories is severely understated.

came out last year:

http://people.seas.harvard.edu/~swofsy/PNAS_draft_jan22.pdf

Evidence for a large fossil fuel methane source over the south-central US

A 2019 follow up from the same thread:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/14/fracking-causing-rise-in-methane-emissions-study-finds

Quite a general article but this is the related paper:
https://www.biogeosciences.net/16/3033/2019/

What happens when regulation of a polluting industry becomes a sick joke?

Say hello to The Texas Railroad Commission, not so much a regulator, more the oil & gas industry's bestest friend.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Emissions-Soar-As-Permian-Flaring-Frenzy-Breaks-New-Records.html
Emissions Soar As Permian Flaring Frenzy Breaks New Records
Quote
The flaring and venting of natural gas in the U.S. continues to soar, reaching new record highs in recent months.

The volume of gas that was burned or simply released into the atmosphere by oil and gas drillers reached 1.28 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2018, according to the EIA, up from 0.772 Bcf/d in 2017.

The practice is a disaster on many levels. It is wasteful, it worsens air quality and it exacerbates climate change. Venting gas is much worse than burning it since it releases methane into the atmosphere, a potent greenhouse gas.

The New York Times documented several “super emitters” in the Permian, (see images attached) using infrared cameras to visually capture the epidemic. The NYT even recorded an oil worker walking into an invisible plume of leaking methane. 


I just quoted a small part about the volume of vented gas. See original post for much more info and some pictures of methane.

There is another article with recent satellite real time data hiding somewhere...

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kassy

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Re: Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2020, 01:41:56 PM »
I'm not sure if this has been posted before, I just found this amazing site from NOAA's
Earth System Research Laboratory Global Monitoring Division.

https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/graph.php?code=ALT&program=ccgg&type=lg

In it you can find wonderful resources like the attached methane measurements across latitudes and time.

Found this nice link buried between the arctic methane release.
The link starts for CO2 but that can easily be changed to NH4. 
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2020, 04:02:08 PM »
You mean CH4, not NH4, right kassy?
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Re: Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2020, 11:17:34 PM »
For the arctic tundra decomposition its a simple calculus:
- If the ground stays dry its an oxygen-rich decomposition that produces CO2
- If the ground is water-logged its an oxygen-starved decomposition that produces CH4

With the 20-year impact of CH4 being about 100 times that of CO2, its an important difference. With increased temperatures, and perhaps a loss of sea ice, a lot of decomposition may take place in water-logged areas as snow turns to rain, and the snow that there is melts earlier.

kassy

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Re: Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2020, 09:05:48 AM »
New 3D View of Methane Tracks Sources and Movement around the Globe

NASA’s new 3-dimensional portrait of methane concentrations shows the world’s second largest contributor to greenhouse warming, the diversity of sources on the ground, and the behavior of the gas as it moves through the atmosphere. Combining multiple data sets from emissions inventories, including fossil fuel, agricultural, biomass burning and biofuels, and simulations of wetland sources into a high-resolution computer model, researchers now have an additional tool for understanding this complex gas and its role in Earth’s carbon cycle, atmospheric composition, and climate system.

Since the Industrial Revolution, methane concentrations in the atmosphere have more than doubled. After carbon dioxide, methane is the second most influential greenhouse gas, responsible for 20 to 30% of Earth’s rising temperatures to date.

“There’s an urgency in understanding where the sources are coming from so that we can be better prepared to mitigate methane emissions where there are opportunities to do so,” said research scientist Ben Poulter at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

...

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2020/new-3d-view-of-methane-tracks-sources-and-movement-around-the-globe
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Re: Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2020, 09:37:11 AM »
^^
video from above link (2m18) "NASA Models Methane Sources, Movement Around Globe"
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Re: Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2020, 03:00:24 PM »
Methane Emissions Hit a New Record and Scientists Can’t Say Why

(Bloomberg) -- Airborne methane levels rose markedly last year, according to a preliminary estimate published today by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The results show a dramatic leap in concentration of the second most-powerful greenhouse gas, which is emitted from both industrial and natural sources.

“Last year’s jump in methane is one of the biggest we’ve seen over the past twenty years,” said Rob Jackson, professor of Earth system science at Stanford University and chair of the Global Carbon Project. “It’s too early to say why, but increases from both agriculture and natural gas use are likely. Natural gas consumption surged more than two percent last year.”

Methane levels have accelerated twice in the last 15 years, first in 2007 and again in 2014. Scientists have yet to pinpoint the exact cause (or causes). Virtually every contributor to the global methane problem may play a role, from the oil-and-gas industry to human agriculture to wetlands changing with the climate.

...

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/methane-emissions-hit-a-new-record-and-scientists-can-t-say-why-1.1418181

A general update.

I still have a ton of inhouse links to add to this thread but i will do that at a later time.
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kassy

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Re: Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2020, 01:18:38 AM »
Methane Levels Reach an All-Time High

New NOAA analysis highlights an alarming trend; experts call for curbing pollution from oil and gas wells

A preliminary estimate from NOAA finds that levels of atmospheric methane, a potent heat-trapping gas, have hit an all-time high.

...

“Here we are. It’s 2020, and it’s not only not dropping. It’s not level. In fact, it’s one of the fastest growth rates we’ve seen in the last 20 years,” said Drew Shindell, a climate scientist at Duke University.

...

 In 2019, the concentration of atmospheric methane reached nearly 1875 parts per billion, the highest level since record-keeping began in 1983.

Even more troubling, 2019 saw the second-largest single-year leap in two decades.

...

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/methane-levels-reach-an-all-time-high/
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kassy

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Re: Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2020, 04:16:21 PM »
APRIL 17, 2020
Stanford researchers find methane leaks from U.S. water heaters are high, but fixable

Natural gas escapes from water heating systems through leaks and because some is not combusted by the burner. These tiny inefficiencies can add up: The resulting emissions of methane – a powerful greenhouse gas – for water heaters across the United States are potentially more than three times higher than expected, according to a new Stanford study. The good news, however, is that simple fixes are available that can be applied across most of the world’s economies.

...

“Wasted natural gas from appliances in homes and commercial buildings is probably the least understood cause of climate change from natural gas use,” said the new study’s lead author, Eric Lebel, a PhD student in Stanford’s Department of Earth System Science.

The researchers focused on water heaters because warming water accounts for a fourth of natural gas consumption in the average U.S. home that uses gas for hot water, cooking and heating. The 58 million U.S. water heaters that use natural gas leak around 91,000 tons of methane per year as uncombusted gas. Over 20 years, given methane’s much greater potency as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, that 91,000 tons warms Earth as much as 7.8 million tons of CO2.

“That’s a very small part of total U.S. emissions, but it’s the equivalent of 1.7 million cars driving on gasoline for a year,” explained Jackson

....

But, for tankless heaters the on/off pulses account for almost 60 percent of emitted methane. Tankless models turn on and off every time a hot water faucet is opened and shut. Stored water is heated or reheated periodically. The researchers suggest that the on/off pulses of tankless water heaters can be lowered significantly to reduce methane leakage without reducing their performance.

“We find other pretty simple design fixes, too,” said Jackson. “For heaters with tanks, most of the release of uncombusted gas is from the pilot light when the heater is idle. Standard pilot lights should be replaced with electronic igniters.”

https://news.stanford.edu/2020/04/17/water-heaters-methane-leaks-high-fixable/

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.9b07189
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kassy

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Re: Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2020, 02:40:27 PM »
Offshore oil and gas platforms release more methane than previously estimated

Offshore energy-producing platforms in U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico are emitting twice as much methane, a greenhouse gas, than previously thought, according to a new study from the University of Michigan.

Researchers conducted a first-of-its-kind pilot-study sampling air over offshore oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Their findings suggest the federal government's calculations are too low.

U-M's research found that, for the full U.S. Gulf of Mexico, oil and gas facilities emit approximately one-half a teragram of methane each year, comparable with large emitting oil and gas basins like the Four Corners region in the southwest U.S. The effective loss rate of produced gas is roughly 2.9%, similar to large onshore basins primarily focused on oil, and significantly higher than current inventory estimates.

...

The study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, identified three reasons for the discrepancy between EPA estimates and their findings:

Errors in platform counts: Offshore facilities in state waters, of which there are in excess of 1,300, were missing from the U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

Persistent emissions from shallow-water facilities, particularly those primarily focused on natural gas, are higher than inventoried.

Large, older facilities situated in shallow waters tended to produce episodic, disproportionally high spikes of methane emissions. These facilities, which have more than seven platforms apiece, contribute to nearly 40% of emissions, yet consist of less than 1% of total platforms. If this emission process were identified, it could provide an optimal mitigation opportunity, the researchers said.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200413140507.htm

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kassy

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Re: Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2020, 04:43:16 PM »
While the linked reference presents high-quality scientific findings, it is sad to me to read about how much methane is being emitted from the Permian Basin in Texas.

Yuzhong Zhang et al. (22 Apr 2020), "Quantifying methane emissions from the largest oil-producing basin in the United States from space", Science Advances, Vol. 6, no. 17, eaaz5120, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz5120

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/17/eaaz5120

Abstract
Using new satellite observations and atmospheric inverse modeling, we report methane emissions from the Permian Basin, which is among the world’s most prolific oil-producing regions and accounts for >30% of total U.S. oil production. Based on satellite measurements from May 2018 to March 2019, Permian methane emissions from oil and natural gas production are estimated to be 2.7 ± 0.5 Tg a−1, representing the largest methane flux ever reported from a U.S. oil/gas-producing region and are more than two times higher than bottom-up inventory-based estimates. This magnitude of emissions is 3.7% of the gross gas extracted in the Permian, i.e., ~60% higher than the national average leakage rate. The high methane leakage rate is likely contributed by extensive venting and flaring, resulting from insufficient infrastructure to process and transport natural gas. This work demonstrates a high-resolution satellite data–based atmospheric inversion framework, providing a robust top-down analytical tool for quantifying and evaluating subregional methane emissions.
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Re: Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2020, 10:25:39 AM »
With the sudden drop in oil demand we should see a drop in oil production also. It will be interesting to see what, if any, effect this has to atmospheric methane levels.

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Re: Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2020, 04:27:44 PM »
Mapping Methane Emissions On a Global Scale
https://phys.org/news/2020-05-methane-emissions-global-scale.html

An important new tool to combat climate change is now available. Using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, this new technology makes it possible to track and attribute methane emissions around the world.

Scientists from Kayrros, a European technology start-up, have recently developed a platform to monitor methane emissions on a global scale. Their findings come from a technology that leverages Copernicus Sentinel-5P data along with additional information from a range of other sources—such as ground sensor data, position tracking and social media data.

In addition to these, supplementary data from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 missions was also used, resulting in the ability to pinpoint the location, potency and size of methane leaks around the world.

Their studies show that there are around 100 high volume-emitting methane leaks at any one time around the world. Around 50% of these emissions come from regions with activities in oil and gas, coal mining and other heavy industries.


This image shows a sample of abnormal methane concentrations over 2019. The size and colour of the circles indicate the size and intensity of the plume detected. The redder the colour, the higher the concentration of the methane plume.
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kassy

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Re: Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2020, 02:33:24 PM »
Natural ecosystems worldwide

The linked reference suggests that as the Earth warms natural ecosystems such as freshwaters will release more methane than expected from predictions based on temperature increases alone:

Yizhu Zhu, Kevin J. Purdy, Özge Eyice, Lidong Shen, Sarah F. Harpenslager, Gabriel Yvon-Durocher, Alex J. Dumbrell, Mark Trimmer. Disproportionate increase in freshwater methane emissions induced by experimental warming. Nature Climate Change, 2020; DOI: 10.1038/s41558-020-0824-y

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-020-0824-y

Abstract: "Net emissions of the potent GHG methane from ecosystems represent the balance between microbial methane production (methanogenesis) and oxidation (methanotrophy), each with different sensitivities to temperature. How this balance will be altered by long-term global warming, especially in freshwaters that are major methane sources, remains unknown. Here we show that the experimental warming of artificial ponds over 11 years drives a disproportionate increase in methanogenesis over methanotrophy that increases the warming potential of the gases they emit. The increased methane emissions far exceed temperature-based predictions, driven by shifts in the methanogen community under warming, while the methanotroph community was conserved. Our experimentally induced increase in methane emissions from artificial ponds is, in part, reflected globally as a disproportionate increase in the capacity of naturally warmer ecosystems to emit more methane. Our findings indicate that as Earth warms, natural ecosystems will emit disproportionately more methane in a positive feedback warming loop."
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kassy

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Re: Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2020, 10:03:41 PM »
Clunky thread title but lo and behold!

Global methane emissions soar to record high

Global emissions of methane have reached the highest levels on record. Increases are being driven primarily by growth of emissions from coal mining, oil and natural gas production, cattle and sheep ranching, and landfills.

...

In 2017, the last year when complete global methane data are available, Earth's atmosphere absorbed nearly 600 million tons of the colorless, odorless gas that is 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat over a 100-year span. More than half of all methane emissions now come from human activities. Annual methane emissions are up 9 percent, or 50 million tons per year, from the early 2000s, when methane concentrations in the atmosphere were relatively stable.

In terms of warming potential, adding this much extra methane to the atmosphere since 2000 is akin to putting 350 million more cars on the world's roads or doubling the total emissions of Germany or France. "We still haven't turned the corner on methane," said Jackson, a professor of Earth system science in Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth).

...

Growing sources of methane

Globally, fossil fuel sources and cows are twin engines powering methane's upward climb. "Emissions from cattle and other ruminants are almost as large as those from the fossil fuel industry for methane," Jackson said. "People joke about burping cows without realizing how big the source really is."

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200714182228.htm
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Re: Methane sources from oceans, industry and non arctic land sources
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2020, 07:27:15 PM »
Methane from north seas boreholes

New study confirms extensive gas leaks in the North Sea

"The positions of the boreholes and the location and extent of the gas pockets indicate that this area of the North Sea alone has the potential to emit 900 to 3700 tonnes of methane every year. 'However, more than 15,000 boreholes have been drilled in the entire North Sea,'

"In the North Sea, about half of the boreholes are at such shallow water depths that part of the emitted methane can escape into the atmosphere."

https://www.geomar.de/en/news/article/neue-studie-bestaetigt-umfangreiche-gasleckagen-in-der-nordsee

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