Controlling methane is a fast and critical way to slow global warming, say Princeton experts

Thursday, Sep 19, 2019
by Steven Schultz, Office of Engineering Communications

"In independent studies, two Princeton University research teams recently identified surprisingly large sources of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, being leaked into the atmosphere. Pound for pound, methane causes a far greater warming effect in the atmosphere than does carbon dioxide — 86-fold more heating over 20 years, and 35-fold more over the course of a century.

In one study, a team headed by Mark Zondlo, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, looked at an area around western Pennsylvania rich with natural gas wells and found that a small number of these wells are “superemitters” of methane. The other study came from the research group of Denise Mauzerall, a professor jointly appointed in civil and environmental engineering and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. By equipping fishing boats with sensors and sailing around offshore oil and gas rigs in the North Sea, the researchers found that these facilities leak substantially more methane than previously reported."

Continue reading the Q&A here on Princeton University's website.