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Shared Humanity

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #50 on: February 09, 2020, 07:37:43 PM »
I second Oren with the thanks. Tracking these atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases is the single best way to measure the adequacy of our efforts to avoid catastrophic warming. You are doing this site a service by providing these updates which serve as a context for discussions on many threads on this site. The numbers are not good but necessary.

Stephan

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #51 on: February 09, 2020, 09:00:58 PM »
Thank you SH.
I try to be as early and as reliable (concerning the time I find to do the posting and to compare the actual data with older ones and compute slopes) as possible. Just a number (x,yyy.z ppb) is in my opinion not enough to feed a discussion.
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dnem

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #52 on: February 19, 2020, 09:54:31 PM »
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-1991-8

Preindustrial 14CH4 indicates greater anthropogenic fossil CH4 emissions

Abstract
Atmospheric methane (CH4) is a potent greenhouse gas, and its mole fraction has more than doubled since the preindustrial era1. Fossil fuel extraction and use are among the largest anthropogenic sources of CH4 emissions, but the precise magnitude of these contributions is a subject of debate2,3. Carbon-14 in CH4 (14CH4) can be used to distinguish between fossil (14C-free) CH4 emissions and contemporaneous biogenic sources; however, poorly constrained direct 14CH4 emissions from nuclear reactors have complicated this approach since the middle of the 20th century4,5. Moreover, the partitioning of total fossil CH4 emissions (presently 172 to 195 teragrams CH4 per year)2,3 between anthropogenic and natural geological sources (such as seeps and mud volcanoes) is under debate; emission inventories suggest that the latter account for about 40 to 60 teragrams CH4 per year6,7. Geological emissions were less than 15.4 teragrams CH4 per year at the end of the Pleistocene, about 11,600 years ago8, but that period is an imperfect analogue for present-day emissions owing to the large terrestrial ice sheet cover, lower sea level and extensive permafrost. Here we use preindustrial-era ice core 14CH4 measurements to show that natural geological CH4 emissions to the atmosphere were about 1.6 teragrams CH4 per year, with a maximum of 5.4 teragrams CH4 per year (95 per cent confidence limit)—an order of magnitude lower than the currently used estimates. This result indicates that anthropogenic fossil CH4 emissions are underestimated by about 38 to 58 teragrams CH4 per year, or about 25 to 40 per cent of recent estimates. Our record highlights the human impact on the atmosphere and climate, provides a firm target for inventories of the global CH4 budget, and will help to inform strategies for targeted emission reductions9,10.


Stephan

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #53 on: March 06, 2020, 08:41:18 PM »
Finally, also CH4 received an update by NOAA:

November 2019:     1877.0 ppb
November 2018:     1866.2 ppb
Last updated: March 05, 2020

This converts into CO2 eq: 57.3 / 19.1 ppm (20 y / 100 y)

The annual increase of 10.8 ppb is at the very upper end of what has been observed in the last years. You have to go back to 2015/16 to find comparable rates.

I set an index of 100 to Jan 2000. November 2019 has a relative value of 105.7.
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Stephan

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #54 on: April 06, 2020, 09:00:30 PM »
Finally, also CH4 received an update by NOAA:

December 2019:     1874.7 ppb
December 2018:     1866.0 ppb
Last updated: April 05, 2020

The 2019 average is thus 1866.9 ppb, 9.5 ppb above the 2018 average.

This converts into CO2 eq: 57.3 / 19.1 ppm (20 y / 100 y)

The annual increase of 8.7 ppb is in the upper half of what has been observed in the last years, but much lower than in July-November 2019 (see posts above in this thread).

I set an index of 100 to Jan 2000. December 2019 has a relative value of 105.6.
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Stephan

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #55 on: May 05, 2020, 10:26:28 PM »
It is the fifth of the new month and so the average values of the "NOAA gases" are available.
Here is the value of CH4:

January 2020:     1873.5 ppb
January 2019:     1865.0 ppb
Last updated: May 05, 2020

This converts into CO2 eq: 57.2 / 19.1 ppm (20 y / 100 y)

The annual increase of 8.5 ppb is in the upper half of what has been observed in the last years, but much lower than in July-November 2019 (see posts above in this thread).

I set an index of 100 to Jan 2000. January 2020 has a relative value of 105.5.
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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #56 on: June 05, 2020, 09:25:14 PM »
It is the fifth of the new month. Therefore the monthly averages of the "NOAA gases" are available. Here is the value of CH4:

February 2020:     1873.7 ppb
February 2019:     1864.9 ppb
Last updated: June 05, 2020

This is an annual increase of 8.8 ppb. This increase is still in the upper half of what has been observed in the last years.

I set an index = 100 for the 1980 average [1601.2 ppb]. February 2020 is at 117.0 compared to that index.
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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #57 on: July 06, 2020, 09:13:58 PM »
It is the fifth of the new month. Therefore the monthly averages of the "NOAA gases" are available. Here is the value of CH4:

March 2020:     1876.4 ppb
March 2019:     1866.3 ppb
Last updated: July 05, 2020

This is an annual increase of 10.1 ppb. This increase is in the upper half of what has been observed in the last years.

I set an index = 100 for the 1980 average [1601.2 ppb]. March 2020 is at 117.2 compared to that index.
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Stephan

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #58 on: August 06, 2020, 07:36:11 PM »
It is the fifth of the new month. Therefore the monthly averages of the "NOAA gases" are available. Here is the value of CH4:

April 2020:     1876.3 ppb
April 2019:     1865.3 ppb
Last updated: August 05, 2020

This is an annual increase of 11.0 ppb. This increase is in the upper half of what has been observed in the last years.

I set an index = 100 for the 1980 average [1601.2 ppb]. April 2020 is at 117.2 compared to that index.

Attached the development since 1980. A much more complicated pattern than the CO2, N2O or SF6 graphs.
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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #59 on: September 10, 2020, 08:32:31 PM »
Here is the latest monthly average of Mauna Loa CH4 concntration:

May 2020:     1874.7 ppb
May 2019:     1861.9 ppb
Last updated: September 05, 2020

This is an annual increase of 12.8 ppb. This is the highest annual increase since March 2015!

I set an index = 100 for the 1980 average [1601.2 ppb]. May 2020 is at 117.1 compared to that index.

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Stephan

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #60 on: October 06, 2020, 08:35:52 PM »
Here is the latest monthly average of Mauna Loa CH4 concentration:

June 2020:     1872.2 ppb
June 2019:     1858.8 ppb
Last updated: October 05, 2020

This is an annual increase of 13.4 ppb. This is the highest annual increase since February 2015!

I set an index = 100 for the 1980 average [1601.2 ppb]. June 2020 is at 116.9 compared to that index.
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Stephan

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #61 on: November 06, 2020, 07:09:21 PM »
Here is the latest monthly average of Mauna Loa CH4 concentration:

July 2020:     1872.0 ppb
July 2019:     1858.4 ppb
Last updated: November 05, 2020

This is an annual increase of 13.6 ppb. This is the highest annual increase since February 2015!

I set an index = 100 for the 1980 average [1601.2 ppb]. July 2020 is at 116.9 compared to that index.

See attached graph. Click for a better visibility
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oren

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #62 on: November 06, 2020, 10:48:29 PM »
Thanks for the charts Stephan, a welcome addition, showing well the worrying trends.

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #63 on: November 06, 2020, 10:53:14 PM »
...you're welcome, oren.
I will add the charts from time to time. Just yesterday I thought it would be time for another set of actualized "NOAA gases" chart, and so I included them in my posting.
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grixm

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #64 on: November 25, 2020, 09:34:38 AM »
A bit of a different perspective. In June/July, the methane concentration usually dips below the value from the preceding winter. However, this year, this effect was very limited. The value is barely below the last local minimum from February. The last time something similar happened was in 2014, and back then what happened next was the biggest autumn jump we've seen since the 20th century, with the winter of 2015 being around 15-16 ppm higher than the winter of 2014. Will this happen this year too?

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #65 on: November 29, 2020, 09:16:39 PM »
I made an little image showing the lack of decrease this year.

big time oops

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #66 on: November 30, 2020, 02:17:49 AM »
Methane releases from well development of newly fracked wells should be down this spring and summer because of low demand for oil and gas during the pandemic. The large increase this year is concerning because it should not have happened. It will be interesting to see if there's an isotopic shift in any of the measurements. Increases in tropical agriculture have been blamed for much of the rising methane over the past decade, but there is no unique solution to the available isotopic data. Isotopic changes in response to the pandemic could help single out the individual contributions, especially the impacts of fracking on methane levels.

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #67 on: November 30, 2020, 07:16:44 PM »
Wildfires also release a lot of methane.

The year started with record wildfires in Australia and continued with record wildfires in North America.

And even though active wells were down, abandoned wells were up.  Unfortunately, there aren't enough resources collected from the oil industry to have them plug leaking abandoned wells quickly.

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #68 on: December 08, 2020, 09:45:19 PM »
Here is the latest monthly average of Mauna Loa CH4 concentration:

August 2020:     1876.9 ppb
August 2019:     1863.0 ppb
Last updated: December 05, 2020

This is an annual increase of 13.9 ppb. This is the highest annual increase since February 2015!

I set an index = 100 for the 1980 average [1601.2 ppb]. August 2020 is at 117.2 compared to that index.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2020, 10:06:09 PM by Stephan »
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grixm

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #69 on: December 17, 2020, 11:40:05 PM »
I noticed that this August had a higher CH4 concentration than any other month in the year before it. Closest was April at 0.4 ppb less. In other words it's the all-time high.

That has never happened for any other August since records began.

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #70 on: December 17, 2020, 11:43:41 PM »
Does methane have any seasonal patterns?
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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #71 on: December 18, 2020, 02:12:14 PM »
Check the graphic in #65.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #72 on: December 18, 2020, 02:47:05 PM »
So if I read that graphic right, it used to have a seasonal pattern but it is now rising so fast that the secular increase is swamping the annual ups and downs?
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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #73 on: December 18, 2020, 03:21:12 PM »
No it still has a seasonal peak late in the year (and notice the scale).
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Stephan

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #74 on: December 18, 2020, 09:33:24 PM »
Just for clarification. There is a typical seasonal pattern in CH4 concentration. After the seasonal minimum in July the values rise fast to the November (sometimes December) maximum. After that there is a slow decrease into a "semi" minimum in January or February. After that a small increase into the March "semi" maximum which then rapidly falls into the next July minimum.
Usually the March "semi" maximum is smaller than the preceding November maximum, but this is not always the case (e.g. 2007, 2010, 2019). As for all natural phenomena there is a certain variability concerning the detailed pattern and values. So each year looks different. What surprised me is the relatively small minimum in July 2020.
I pointed out the relevant features in the attached graph (2016 - 2020). The heights of the lines roughly indicate the differences between maxima and minima.
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kassy

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #75 on: December 18, 2020, 10:22:36 PM »
Thanks for that. Is there an easy way to show earlier years? Mainly curious about the pattern between the peaks,
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #76 on: December 18, 2020, 11:40:06 PM »
Thanks for that. Is there an easy way to show earlier years? Mainly curious about the pattern between the peaks,

https://www.methanelevels.org/

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #77 on: December 19, 2020, 01:54:05 AM »
That does not show them it is just the general trend.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #78 on: December 19, 2020, 08:27:55 AM »
That does not show them it is just the general trend.

Zoom in. That chart has every data point there is.

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #79 on: December 19, 2020, 11:33:20 AM »
Ah right i only saw all the pre 1980ies yearly data which ofc does not help, thx!
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #80 on: December 19, 2020, 08:53:02 PM »
Thanks for that. Is there an easy way to show earlier years? Mainly curious about the pattern between the peaks,

Here you go, kassy:

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #81 on: December 19, 2020, 09:54:40 PM »
See the pause from 2003 to 2011
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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #82 on: January 12, 2021, 10:24:24 PM »
Almost a week later than usual an update of global CH4 is available from NOAA:

September 2020:     1884.0 ppb
September 2019:     1870.7 ppb
Last updated: January 05, 2021

This is an annual increase of 13.3 ppb. This is the third highest annual increase since February 2015 and way above the 10 y average increase of 7.78 ppb/a.

I set an index = 100 for the 1980 average [1601.2 ppb]. September 2020 is at 117.7 compared to that index.
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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #83 on: February 05, 2021, 08:55:38 PM »
It is the fifth of the month, and NOAA has published a new monthly average.

October 2020:     1890.9 ppb
October 2019:     1875.4 ppb
October 2010:     1806.2 ppb
Last updated: February 05, 2021

The annual increase is 15.5 ppb. This is way above what has been observed, except for two annual increases of 15.8 ppb in winter 2015. The value seems to "explode". See attached graph from NOAA's website.

I set an index = 100 for the 1980 average [1601.2 ppb]. October 2020 is at 118.1 compared to that index.
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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #84 on: February 10, 2021, 11:01:57 PM »

The annual increase is 15.5 ppb. This is way above what has been observed, except for two annual increases of 15.8 ppb in winter 2015. The value seems to "explode". See attached graph from NOAA's website.
I decided to update my spreadshhet after a 6 month forgetfulness.

Going back to 1983 there are 4 spikes in excess of that in October 20. They all occur in winter at the very end of the year or the first month ot two of the new year. Perhaps the current spike has not yet reached the peak?

Pure Speculation - oil and gas production suppressed in 2020. Theoretically less methane thrown into the atmosphere. But a very long heatwave in Siberia - permafrost melt releasing metthane with a time lag to mix fully into the atmosphere?
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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #85 on: February 11, 2021, 01:02:57 AM »
Or a lot of venting and flaring of unwanted gas at oil and gas wells.  Plus fewer people monitoring and responding to leaks in the oil and gas wells and pipelines due to less revenues for the oil and gas companies.

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #86 on: February 11, 2021, 01:18:42 AM »
Here's the current methane at surface forecast from Copernicus (note the hotspots over heavily populated areas and areas dominated by fossil fuel production.  Most of Siberia, with the exception of the oil and gas producing regions, is lower in methane concentration than the atmospheric average concentration.):




And an article on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/large-methane-leaks-reveal-long-standing-shortfalls-in-oversight/

Quote
Large Methane Leaks Reveal Long-Standing Shortfalls in Oversight

New rollbacks could make controlling fugitive emissions from oil and gas infrastructure even harder
By Chiara Eisner on December 21, 2020

Ever since a father and son managed to draw four whiskey barrels of oil from a hand-dug hole near California’s Kern River 121 years ago, productive oil and gas wells have multiplied like mushrooms across the area. Though such wells are expected to emit minimal amounts of greenhouse gases during the oil-extraction process, scientists from a space-related research group were shocked by the size of the methane plumes they detected when they flew an infrared sensor over Kern County in 2015. Repeating the flights three more times in the next three years confirmed the initial reading: some wells were releasing at least six times more of the potent greenhouse gas into the atmosphere in one day than the Environmental Protection Agency had estimated they should emit in a year.

Quote
Using instruments on satellites and planes, researchers have, in recent years, revealed what they say are substantial inaccuracies in existing official methane emission counts. In 2014 a group of six scientists published a blockbuster study in Geophysical Research Letters exposing the largest U.S. methane anomaly that had ever been detected from space. The team calculated that the emissions around the hotspot—centered on the Four Corners region, where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah meet—exceeded EPA estimates for the area and persisted for years in all seasons. The second-biggest emissions hotspot they identified was located near California’s San Joaquin Valley, home of most of Kern County.

Quote
To check for possible differences between estimates and actual emissions, EDF researchers led a team of experts in amassing ground-based and airborne field measurements of methane coming from oil and gas facilities across the U.S. over a four-year period. In research published in Science in 2018, the group contended that in 2015 industry infrastructure emitted 60 percent more methane—at least an extra 4.9 million metric tons—than the EPA’s inventory estimate. That discrepancy is slightly less than the amount of methane emitted into the atmosphere by all the cattle in the U.S.

gerontocrat

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #87 on: February 11, 2021, 01:48:23 PM »
Here's the current methane at surface forecast from Copernicus (note the hotspots over heavily populated areas and areas dominated by fossil fuel production.  Most of Siberia, with the exception of the oil and gas producing regions, is lower in methane concentration than the atmospheric average concentration.):
The image Ken shows is current. Given that Siberia in early Feb is frozen with a snow cover, it is hardly surprising that current methane emissions from Siberia are below average.

The data from Stephan that I picked up is for October 2010, at the end of a long hot Siberian summer. It takes a few months for emissions of these trace gases to mix fully into the atmosphere. So my speculation that the Siberian summer caused a spike in the CH4 October 20 global measurement is not dead - yet.

However, if the Copernicus site can give us an actual emissions map for summer 2020, and that shows nothing unusual for CH4 emissions in the Arctic and Siberia in particular, then my speculation can go in the bin.
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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #88 on: February 11, 2021, 06:49:36 PM »
You can go to this website to get weekly average methane maps dating back to 2020:

https://pulse.ghgsat.com/


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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #89 on: February 11, 2021, 09:12:53 PM »
You can go to this website to get weekly average methane maps dating back to 2020:

https://pulse.ghgsat.com/
Thanks for the link, Ken. Having a closer look tomorrow, It's getting late (for me) here in the UK.
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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #90 on: February 12, 2021, 09:57:20 PM »
The Trump administration's relaxation of environmental rules and the oil industry's cash flow problems combined to create a lot of venting and incomplete flaring that pushed up methane emissions from US shale fields last year.

https://www.edf.org/media/through-turbulent-year-edf-data-show-permian-oil-and-gas-operators-consistently-failed-keep

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Through Turbulent Year, EDF Data Show Permian Oil and Gas Operators Consistently Failed to Keep Flares Lit
Aerial survey findings underscore flaring’s role in the region’s outsized methane problem.
February 10, 2021

(AUSTIN, TX) Despite turbulent oil and gas markets and a crash in new drilling activity, a year’s worth of aerial survey data released today by EDF’s PermianMAP initiative reveals that operators’ inability to manage flaring has remained a consistent problem.

Flaring is the controversial practice of sending natural gas — which is mostly methane — up a pipe and igniting it, rather than capturing it for productive use. Flaring has come under increased scrutiny for contribution to air pollution and climate change, alongside the fact that it has resulted in the waste of billions of dollars’ worth of natural gas.

EDF scientists conducted four week-long surveys throughout 2020 to assess emissions from flaring in the United States’ largest oilfield. In each survey, roughly 5% of flares were entirely unlit and venting methane directly into the atmosphere, and an additional 5% were malfunctioning and only partially lit, failing to properly combust methane and driving up emissions. The repeated results affirm flaring’s outsized contribution to Permian methane emissions, and underscore producers’ ongoing inability to control the problem.

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The best solution for reducing malfunctioning flares is to reduce flaring in the first place. A recent Rystad analysis shows doing so is highly cost-effective, 84% of routine flaring in the Permian could be eliminated at no net cost according to the report.

gerontocrat

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #91 on: February 14, 2021, 07:46:49 PM »
You can go to this website to get weekly average methane maps dating back to 2020:

https://pulse.ghgsat.com/
Thanks for the link, Ken. Having a closer look tomorrow, It's getting late (for me) here in the UK.
I have had a look.
It is true to say that Siberian CH4 emissions do not match emissions in the world's hotspots.
But is also true to say that as summer arrived last year, so did CH4 emissions rose in the northern part of Siberia.

I don't think one can't blame increased summer actvity in the Siberian oil and gas fields - as my understanding is that many actvities in Siberia are more easily done in winter when the ground surface is rock solid plus ice roads.

So - I don't know, but here are some pretty pictures showing how CH4 concentrations increased as summer progressed
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Stephan

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #92 on: March 05, 2021, 07:58:51 PM »
Each 5th of a new month, NOAA publishes its latest monthly averages of GHG.

November 2020:     1891.9 ppb
November 2019:     1875.6 ppb
November 2010:     1807.1 ppb
Last updated: March 05, 2021

The annual increase is 16.3 ppb. This is wayyyy above what has been observed, the latest increase of that size was observed in Feb 1992. The value seems to "explode".

I set an index = 100 for the 1980 average [1601.2 ppb]. November 2020 is at 118.2 compared to that index.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 08:08:11 PM by Stephan »
It is too late just to be concerned about Climate Change

gerontocrat

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #93 on: March 06, 2021, 06:21:21 PM »
The graph shows how right Stephan is.... click to enlarge
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Stephan

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #94 on: April 07, 2021, 07:36:48 PM »
With two days of delay the latest CH4 monthly average has been published by NOAA:

December 2020:     1892.3 ppb
December 2019:     1874.6 ppb
December 2010:     1804.0 ppb
Last updated: April 06, 2021

The annual increase is 17.7 ppb!!! This is wayyyyy above what has been observed. You have to go back to January 1992 with an annual increase of 17.9 ppb/a. The value still seems to "explode". There are very few Decembers in past years with a value above November. Usually Nov is the seasonal maximum. But not this year.

I set an index = 100 for the 1980 average [1601.2 ppb]. December 2020 is at 118.2 compared to that index. So this increase is slightly lower compared to the increase of CO2.

See attached graph. Please notice the "weak" annual minimum in summer 2020 and the strong increase since then.
It is too late just to be concerned about Climate Change

gerontocrat

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Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« Reply #95 on: April 07, 2021, 09:26:39 PM »
Add some trend lines  + extrapolation and frighten yourself to death.

click image to enlarge
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)