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New National Academies' report lays out path forward for methane research

New National Academies' report lays out path forward for methane research

A new National Academies of Sciences' report calls on several federal agencies to work together to improve techniques for measuring one of the most important greenhouse gases produced by humans - methane.

March 27, 2018 0 Comments
Study finds fossil fuel methane emissions greater than previously estimated

Study finds fossil fuel methane emissions greater than previously estimated

Methane emissions from fossil fuel development around the world are up to 60 percent greater than estimated by previous studies, according to new research led by scientists from NOAA and CIRES. The study found that fossil fuel activities contribute between 132 million and 165 million tons of the 623 million tons of methane emitted by all sources every year. That’s about 20 to 25 percent of total global methane emissions, and 20 to 60 percent more than previous studies estimated.


October 5, 2016 0 Comments
As Alaska warms, methane emissions appear stable

As Alaska warms, methane emissions appear stable

Analysis of nearly three decades of air samples from Alaska’s North Slope shows little change in long-term methane emissions despite significant Arctic warming over that time period, according to new research published in Geophysical Research Letters.

June 22, 2016 0 Comments
North Dakota’s Bakken oil and gas field leaking 275,000 tons of methane per year

North Dakota’s Bakken oil and gas field leaking 275,000 tons of methane per year

The Bakken oil and gas field is leaking a lot of methane, but less than some satellites report, and less than the latest Environmental Protection Agency inventory for petroleum systems, according to the researchers’ calculations. That's the finding of the first field study measuring emissions of this potent greenhouse gas from the Bakken, which spans parts of North Dakota and Montana. The work was published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

May 11, 2016 0 Comments
Scientists probe methane mystery in Four Corners

Scientists probe methane mystery in Four Corners

A team of scientific investigators is now in the Four Corners region of the U.S. Southwest, aiming to uncover reasons for a mysterious methane hotspot detected from space by a European satellite. The joint project is working to solve the mystery from the air, on the ground, and with mobile laboratories.

April 7, 2015 0 Comments
Studying the air above oil and gas production areas in the western United States

Studying the air above oil and gas production areas in the western United States

Vast regions west of the Mississippi River are under development for oil and gas extraction, and the associated equipment has become a familiar sight on any cross-country road trip or flight.  But while one focus is on what comes out of the ground, NOAA and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) researchers and their colleagues are studying what escapes to the air—and how it is transformed in the atmosphere and affects air quality and climate.  The scientists are using a suite of state-of-the-art chemical instruments aboard a research aircraft this spring in the NOAA-led Shale Oil and Natural Gas Nexus (SONGNEX 2015) field campaign, to study the atmospheric effects of energy production in the western United States.
March 20, 2015 0 Comments
Methane leaks from three large U.S. natural gas fields in line with federal estimates

Methane leaks from three large U.S. natural gas fields in line with federal estimates

Tens of thousands of pounds of methane leak per hour from equipment in three major natural gas basins that span Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Pennsylvania, according to airborne measurements published today by a NOAA-led team of scientists. But the overall leak rate from those basins is only about one percent of gas production there—lower than leak rates measured in other gas fields, and in line with federal estimates.

February 18, 2015 0 Comments
Greenhouse gases continued rising in 2013; 34 percent increase since 1990

Greenhouse gases continued rising in 2013; 34 percent increase since 1990

NOAA’s latest Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI), released today, Friday, May 2, 2014, shows that the warming influence from human-emitted gases continued to increase in 2013. This trend that began with the Industrial Revolution of the 1880s has accelerated in recent decades.

May 2, 2014 0 Comments
CIRES, NOAA observe significant methane leaks in a Utah natural gas field

CIRES, NOAA observe significant methane leaks in a Utah natural gas field

On a perfect winter day in Utah’s Uintah County in 2012, CIRES scientists and NOAA colleagues tested out a new way to measure methane emissions from a natural gas production field. Their results, accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, constitute a proof-of-concept that could help both researchers and regulators better determine how much of the greenhouse gas and other air pollutants leak from oil and gas fields. 
August 7, 2013 0 Comments
Mystery solved: "Extra” methane in LA's air traced to fossil-fuel sources

Mystery solved: "Extra” methane in LA's air traced to fossil-fuel sources

A new study, led by NOAA and its Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder, used a novel approach to trace methane in the Los Angeles basin back to its sources, and found that "extra" methane is likely coming from sources related to fossil fuels.

May 14, 2013 0 Comments
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The Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.

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