Title: Anthropogenic emissions of methane in the United States
Authors: MILLER Scot M.WOFSY Steven C.MICHALAK Anna M.KORT EricANDREWS ArlynBIRAUD SebastienDLUGOKENCKY EdwardELUSZKIEWICZ JanuszFISCHER MJANSSENS-MAENHOUT GreetMILLER Ben R.MILLER John B.MONTZKA StephenSWEENEY ColmNEHRKORN Thomas
Citation: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA vol. 110 no. 50 p. 20018–20022
Publisher: NATL ACAD SCIENCES
Publication Year: 2013
JRC N°: JRC80244
ISSN: 0027-8424
URI: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/11/20/1314392110.abstract
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC80244
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1314392110
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Methane accounts for an important share of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, but estimates of total methane sources over North America vary by over 50%, a margin inadequate for policy decisions on future greenhouse gas reductions. In this paper, we analyze observed concentrations of atmospheric methane over North America in order resolve discrepancies in published assessments of methane emissions. We use a geostatistical framework to combine a comprehensive suite of atmospheric measurements, a high-resolution atmospheric transport model, and diverse spatial datasets to provide maps of anthropogenic methane sources in the US. The results show large methane sources over Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, the major locus of oil refining and natural gas extraction in the continental United States. Correlations of measured methane and propane concentrations in this region confirm a fossil fuel extraction source. Methane from these three states alone accounts for ∼25% of total US emissions, and the magnitude of emissions from the fossil fuel extraction and/or refining sector appears to have been significantly underestimated by most assessments. Here we show that natural gas extraction and processing likely has a much larger greenhouse gas footprint than commonly estimated.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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