Evidence that methane emissions from natural gas production have been considerably underestimated by the EPA was recently reinforced by the initiation of an investigation into how the EPA estimates methane emissions by the EPA’s Inspector General. If it is found that emissions of methane from natural gas production are considerably greater than current estimates, the advantage that natural gas has over coal will be eroded and the advantage of switching to natural gas as a cleaner form of energy diminished.
In contrast to West Antarctica where several large glaciers have been losing ice for decades, East Antarctica glaciers have exhibited little evidence of ice loss but NASA’s latest detailed maps of East Antarctica ice velocity and elevation show that a number of glaciers have begun to lose ice over the past decade.
A new analysis of Antarctic ice cores shows that at the beginning of the last deglaciation, the start of rising CO2 lagged rising temperature by about 800 years which is consistent with the Southern Hemisphere playing a dominant role in the rise in atmospheric CO2. The concomitant rise in methane appears to be governed by Northern Hemisphere processes.
Marine cores collected in the western tropical Pacific were used to compare the chronology of Southern Ocean warming near Antarctica and rising CO2 during the last deglaciation. The results provide evidence that the Southern Ocean off Antarctica warmed by ~2°C between 19,000 and 17,000 years before the present, about 1,000 years before the rise in atmospheric CO2.