Expert Articles: Climate Impact

The SHIP collection of expert articles is continuously developed and updated.


Controversial studies on the impact of shale gas on climate

Author: Thorsten Warneke

Published:  October 23, 2014

Two recent articles (Howarth, R.W. (2014) and Heath et al (2014)) come to different conclusions regarding the impact of shale gas on climate. Natural gas is generally considered to be climate-friendlier than coal and oil. The reason is that natural gas emits less carbon dioxide than coal or oil. However, methane is a very potent greenhouse gas, and is the main constituent of natural gas; methane leakage... [read more]

Measurements taken using aircraft point to high emissions during the drilling phase in the Marcellus shale formation

Author: Thorsten Warneke

Published:  May 23, 2014

The article “Towards a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development”, by Caulton et al., published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in April, 2014, presents methane emission estimates deduced from measurements taken using aircraft. These measurements were conducted... [read more]

Official greenhouse gas inventories underestimate methane emissions.

Author: Thorsten Warneke

Publication date:  April 15, 2014

The article "Methane Leaks from North American Natural Gas Systems", published by Brandt et al. in the Policy Forum of the journal Science, compiles results on methane emissions from technical literature published over the last 20 years. This study represents an important... [read more]

Methane emissions are underestimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Author: Thorsten Warneke

Published:  January 27, 2014

A recent paper by Miller et al. (2013), published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, states that the emission of methane in the United States could be 50% higher than previously estimated. The results are based on a top-down method (see below), using an extensive set... [read more]

Lower methane emissions than expected at selected shale gas production sites in the U.S.

Author: Thorsten Warneke

Published:  October 15, 2013

Natural gas used for heat and power generation is generally regarded as climate friendlier than oil or coal. This is definitely true when only carbon dioxide emissions during the burning process are considered; but... [read more]

A documentation of studies on the greenhouse gas balance of shale gas

Author: Andreas Hübner

Published: March 14, 2012
Updated: April 29, 2015

Many studies have examined the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and thus the possible climate impact of shale gas production. Methodologies and assumptions in these studies differ, resulting in a wide variation in conclusions... [read more]

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Climate Impact

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