Archives par mot-clé : Methane

‘MASSIVE POOL’ OF METHANE HIDDEN DEEP BENEATH EARTH’S SURFACE DISCOVERED BY SCIENTISTS

by Hannay Osborne, 21 August 2019 in Newsweek from PNAS


A huge source of methane has been discovered deep beneath the surface of Earth, sitting between the upper mantle and lower oceanic crust. The discovery is important as it could provide an insight into the hydrothermal vents that may have helped the planet’s first life emerge. Researchers also argue it could be a source of hydrogen and methane on other planets in the solar system—”even those where liquid water is no longer present.”

The ‘abiotic’ methane—methane that is not formed with organic matter—was found locked inside rocks. Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Massachusetts, took 160 samples from hydrothermal sites across the globe, including the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Guaymas Basin, the East Pacific Rise and the Mid-Cayman Rise. After analyzing them with a laser-based microscope, they found that almost all contained pockets of methane.

In their study, published in the journal PNAS, the team says this could be the biggest source of abiotic methane in the world. This reservoir, they say, could account for more methane than was in Earth’s atmosphere before the onset of the industrial era.

The methane appears to have formed by reactions between trapped water and olivine, a group of rock-forming minerals found in the planet’s subsurface. When seawater moves through the deep ocean crust, it mixes with magma-hot olivine. When the mineral cools, the water is trapped inside and a chemical reaction takes place, leading to the formation of hydrogen and methane.

Traditionally, we think of methane—a potent greenhouse gas—as forming when organic material breaks down. When it is emitted into the atmosphere, it has a warming effect far greater than carbon dioxide, although it is far shorter-lived than the latter, disappearing after about a decade.

However, methane is also known to exist on the seafloor. It is released through deep-sea vents—geothermally heated fissures on Earth’s crust. In 2016, scientists with the Ocean Exploration Trust discovered over 500 methane spewing vents off the west coast of the U.S.

However, the source of the seafloor methane has remained something of a mystery. “Identifying an abiotic source of deep-sea methane has been a problem that we’ve been wrestling with for many years,” study author Jeffrey Seewald, a senior scientist at WHOI, said in a statement.

Lead author Frieder Klein added: “We were totally surprised to find this massive pool of abiotic methane in the oceanic crust and mantle. Here’s a source of chemical energy that’s being created by geology.”

Net Zero Natural Gas Plant — The Game Changer

by James Conca, July 31, 2019 in Forbes


An actual game changing technology is being demonstrated as we sit in our air-conditioned abodes reading this. And it is being demonstrated by North Carolina–based Net Power at a new plant in La Porte, Texas.

The process involves burning fossil fuel with oxygen instead of air to generate electricity without emitting any carbon dioxide (CO2). Not using air also avoids generating NOx, the main atmospheric and health contaminant emitted from gas plants.

Study: Cattle Methane is a moooot point in global climate

by Anthony Watts, June 12, 2019 in WUWT


Via No Tricks Zone: Agrobiologist and scientific researcher Dr. Albrecht Glatzle, author of over 100 scientific papers and two textbooks, has published research that shows:

“…there is no scientific evidence, whatsoever, that domestic livestock could represent a risk for the Earth’s climate” and the “warming potential of anthropogenic GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions has been exaggerated.”

Glatzle, 2018

Domestic Livestock and ItsAlleged Role in Climate Change

Abstract:

“Our key conclusion is there is no need for anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), and even less so for livestock-born emissions, to explain climate change. Climate has always been changing, and even the present warming is most likely driven by natural factors.

The warming potential of anthropogenic GHG emissions has been exaggerated, and the beneficial impacts of manmade CO2 emissions for nature, agriculture, and global food security have been systematically suppressed, ignored, or at least downplayed by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and other UN (United Nations) agencies.

Furthermore, we expose important methodological deficiencies in IPCC and FAO (Food Agriculture Organization) instructions and applications for the quantification of the manmade part of non-CO2-GHG emissions from agro-ecosystems.

However, so far, these fatal errors inexorably propagated through the scientific literature.

Finally, we could not find a clear domestic livestock fingerprint, neither in the geographical methane distribution nor in the historical evolution of mean atmospheric methane concentration.”

Methane-consuming bacteria could be the future of fuel

by Northwestern University, May 9, 2019 in ScienceDaily


Discovery illuminates how bacteria turn methane gas into liquid methanol.
Researchers have found that the enzyme responsible for the methane-methanol conversion in methanotrophic bacteria catalyzes the reaction at a site that contains just one copper ion. This finding could lead to newly designed, human-made catalysts that can convert methane — a highly potent greenhouse gas — to readily usable methanol with the same effortless mechanism.
The study will publish on Friday, May 10 in the journal Science. Rosenzweig is the Weinberg Family Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Hoffman is the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry at Weinberg.

By oxidizing methane and converting it to methanol, methanotrophic bacteria (or “methanotrophs”) can pack a one-two punch. Not only are they removing a harmful greenhouse gas from the environment, they are also generating a readily usable, sustainable fuel for automobiles, electricity and more.

Current industrial processes to catalyze a methane-to-methanol reaction require tremendous pressure and extreme temperatures, reaching higher than 1,300 degrees Celsius. Methanotrophs, however, perform the reaction at room temperature and “for free”.

Methane warming exaggerated by 400%

by Barry Brill, March 30, 2019 in WUWT


The IPCC’s AR5 estimated the global warming caused by a tonne of livestock methane would be 28 times that of a tonne of carbon dioxide. New research destroys that estimate.

The war on meat has been gathering pace amongst our Western elites. The Economist makes a detailed case for “plant-based food” in the interests of quelling climate change –

The FAO calculates that cattle generate up to two-thirds of the greenhouse gases from livestock, and are the world’s fifth largest source of methane. If cows were a country, the United Herds of Earth would be the planet’s third largest greenhouse-gas emitter.

These calculations are based on figures supplied by the IPCC’s AR5, which contends that the global warming potential (GWP) of methane over 100 years is no less than 28 times the global warming it expects to be caused by an equivalent weight of carbon dioxide. This estimate is up from the GWP of 21 put forward in the IPCC’s previous report.

All this is now challenged by a new and authoritative research paper, Allen et al (2017): “A solution to the misrepresentations of CO2-equivalent emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, under ambitious mitigation”. This paper finds that conventional GWPs misrepresent the impact of short-lived gases (such as methane) on global temperature – and recommends the adoption of a new metric, denoted as GWP*.

China’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rising At ‘Alarming Rate’

by Anthony Watts, February 5, 2019 in WUWT


The paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07891-7

China’s coal mine methane regulations have not curbed growing emissions

Abstract

Anthropogenic methane emissions from China are likely greater than in any other country in the world. The largest fraction of China’s anthropogenic emissions is attributable to coal mining, but these emissions may be changing; China enacted a suite of regulations for coal mine methane (CMM) drainage and utilization that came into full effect in 2010. Here, we use methane observations from the GOSAT satellite to evaluate recent trends in total anthropogenic and natural emissions from Asia with a particular focus on China. We find that emissions from China rose by 1.1 ± 0.4 Tg CH4 yr−1 from 2010 to 2015, culminating in total anthropogenic and natural emissions of 61.5 ± 2.7 Tg CH4 in 2015. The observed trend is consistent with pre-2010 trends and is largely attributable to coal mining. These results indicate that China’s CMM regulations have had no discernible impact on the continued increase in Chinese methane emissions.

New Research: Methane Emissions From Livestock Have No Detectable Effect On The Climate

by Kenneth Richard, December 3, 2018 in NoTricksZone


Agrobiologist and scientific researcher Dr. Albrecht Glatzle, author of over 100 scientific papers and two textbooks, has published research that shows “there is no scientific evidence, whatsoever, that domestic livestock could represent a risk for the Earth’s climate” and that the “warming potential of anthropogenic GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions has been exaggerated”.

Minimal geological methane emissions during the Younger Dryas–Preboreal abrupt warming event

by Vasilii V. Petrenko et al., August 23, 2017 in Nature


Preboreal event was driven by contemporaneous methane from sources such as wetlands; our findings constrain the contribution from old carbon reservoirs (marine methane hydrates8, permafrost9 and methane trapped under ice10) to 19 per cent or less (95 per cent confidence). To the extent that the characteristics of the most recent deglaciation and the Younger Dryas–Preboreal warming are comparable to those of the current anthropogenic warming, our measurements suggest that large future atmospheric releases of methane from old carbon sources are unlikely to occur.

Après le pétrole, le gaz américain comme nouveau “game changer” ?

by Patrice Geoffron, 23 octobre 2017 in Le CerclesdesEconmistes, Boursorama


 (…) le gaz américain pourrait bouleverser les équilibres mondiaux, avec des conséquences non moins drastiques que pour le pétrole. Les ressources américaines de gaz sont abondantes et, en juillet 2017, le prix interne a atteint son point le plus bas depuis 12 ans, augurant de sa compétitivité à l’export.

…Next Generation of Fossil Fuels…

by Donn Dears, August 2017


As noted in my article four years ago, Japan has a program for producing natural gas from methane hydrates located near its coast, and predicts it will be successful by 2019.

Most people believe that Japan’s objective is highly optimistic, but it does shed light on the efforts currently underway to develop the technology for extracting natural gas from methane hydrates.

Réserves de gaz dans le monde

by Connaissances des Energies, 17 février 2015


Les cinq pays disposant des plus importantes réserves de gaz au monde sont :

Methane Emissions: from blind spot to spotlight

by The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, July 2017


Very comprehensive file, 39 pages .pdf

Methane emissions influence but do not undermine the environmental case for gas. If the industry can build on the progress to date and deliver a clearer picture on the level of emissions and actions to address them, the arguments for gas displacing coal in power generation and oil products in transport become much stronger.

The Vostok Ice Core: Temperature, CO2 and CH4

by Euan Means, December 12, 2014


In their seminal paper on the Vostok Ice Core, Petit et al (1999) [1] note that CO2 lags temperature during the onset of glaciations by several thousand years but offer no explanation. They also observe that CH4 and CO2 are not perfectly aligned with each other but offer no explanation. The significance of these observations are therefore ignored. At the onset of glaciations temperature drops to glacial values before CO2 begins to fall suggesting that CO2 has little influence on temperature modulation at these times.

See also here