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Fracking and Shale Drilling Caused Spike in Climate-Warming Methane Pollution

David Klein

Moderator

Fracking and Shale Drilling Caused Spike in Climate-Warming Methane Pollution

Excerpts:

A new Cornell University study published today in the scientific journal Biogeosciences helps to explain what sparked the surge in those methane concentrations, both here in the U.S. and around the world...

Earlier studies “erroneously concluded” that the cause of rising methane pollution was “biological,” Howarth said in a statement on the new paper. But methane from cows or wetlands can also be distinguished from methane from fossil fuels based on its carbon-13 content — allowing the Cornell researchers to conclude that the rise in methane pollution we see now did not come from biological sources but instead came from the fracking rush.

The vast majority of new natural gas production over the past decade has come from shale drilling and fracking in North America. The climate impacts, however, spread worldwide.
 
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