Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic
BG | Volume 16, issue 15
Biogeosciences, 16, 3033–3046, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-3033-2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Biogeosciences, 16, 3033–3046, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-3033-2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Ideas and perspectives 14 Aug 2019

Ideas and perspectives | 14 Aug 2019

Ideas and perspectives: is shale gas a major driver of recent increase in global atmospheric methane?

Robert W. Howarth
Related subject area  
Biogeochemistry: Greenhouse Gases
Quantifying the impact of emission outbursts and non-stationary flow on eddy-covariance CH4 flux measurements using wavelet techniques
Mathias Göckede, Fanny Kittler, and Carsten Schaller
Biogeosciences, 16, 3113–3131, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-3113-2019,https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-3113-2019, 2019
Short summary
Reviews and syntheses: Review of causes and sources of N2O emissions and NO3 leaching from organic arable crop rotations
Sissel Hansen, Randi Berland Frøseth, Maria Stenberg, Jarosław Stalenga, Jørgen E. Olesen, Maike Krauss, Paweł Radzikowski, Jordi Doltra, Shahid Nadeem, Torfinn Torp, Valentini Pappa, and Christine A. Watson
Biogeosciences, 16, 2795–2819, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-2795-2019,https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-2795-2019, 2019
Short summary
Wildfire overrides hydrological controls on boreal peatland methane emissions
Scott J. Davidson, Christine Van Beest, Richard Petrone, and Maria Strack
Biogeosciences, 16, 2651–2660, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-2651-2019,https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-2651-2019, 2019
Short summary
Scaling and balancing carbon dioxide fluxes in a heterogeneous tundra ecosystem of the Lena River Delta
Norman Rößger, Christian Wille, David Holl, Mathias Göckede, and Lars Kutzbach
Biogeosciences, 16, 2591–2615, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-2591-2019,https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-2591-2019, 2019
Physically controlled CO2 effluxes from a reservoir surface in the upper Mekong River Basin: a case study in the Gongguoqiao Reservoir
Lin Lin, Xixi Lu, Shaoda Liu, Shie-Yui Liong, and Kaidao Fu
Biogeosciences, 16, 2205–2219, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-2205-2019,https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-2205-2019, 2019
Short summary
Cited articles  
Baldassare, F. J., McCaffrey, M. A., and Harper, J. A.: A geochemical context for stray gas investigations in the northern Appalachian Basin: Implications of analyses of natural gases from Neogene-through Devonian-age strata, AAPG Bull., 98, 341–372, https://doi.org/10.1306/06111312178, 2014. 
Botner, E. C., Townsend-Small, A., Nash, D. B., Xu, X., Schimmelmann, A., and Miller, J. H.: Monitoring concentration and isotopic composition of methane in groundwater in the Utica Shale hydraulic fracturing region of Ohio, Environ. Monit. Assess., 190, 322–337, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-018-6696-1, 2018. 
Burruss, R. C. and Laughrey, C. D.: Carbon and hydrogen isotopic reversals in deep basin gas: evidence for limits to the stability of hydrocarbons, Org. Geochem., 41, 1285–1296, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orggeochem.2010.09.008, 2010. 
Caulton, D. R., Shepson, P. D., Santoro, R. L., Sparks, J. P., Howarth, R. W., Ingraffea, A., Camaliza, M. O., Sweeney, C., Karion, A., Davis, K. J., Stirm, B. H., Montzka, S. A., and Miller, B.: Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 111, 6237–6242, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1316546111, 2014. 
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
Atmospheric methane has risen rapidly since 2008 and has become more depleted in 13C, in contrast to the trend towards more 13C enrichment in the late 20th century. Many have used this isotopic evidence to infer an increased biogenic source. Here I analyze the 13C trend with the consideration that methane from shale gas is somewhat depleted in 13C compared to other fossil fuels. I conclude that shale gas may be responsible for a third of the global increase from all sources.
Atmospheric methane has risen rapidly since 2008 and has become more depleted in 13C, in...
Citation