Saturday, April 16, 2011

Some Thoughts on the Howarth Shale Gas Paper

Some Thoughts on the Howarth Shale Gas Paper

A new paper by Cornell’s Robert Howarth, which claims that shale gas is worse for greenhouse gas emissions than coal, has been getting a lot of attention in the popular press. Howarth’s basic question is an important one: what happens to the claimed emissions benefits of natural gas once you include the methane leaked in its production and transport? Alas, his analysis is based on extremely weak data, and also has a severe methodological flaw (plus some other questionable decisions), all of which means that his bottom line conclusions shouldn’t carry weight. But someone else, with better data and more careful calculations, ought to address this important set of questions that he raises properly.
I won’t catalogue every problem with the study – it’s more useful, I think, to flag the biggest issues. I see four.

read more:

No comments:

Post a Comment