methane

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This EPA Rollback Has a Twist

Agency moves to loosen methane regulations, but big companies like Exxon oppose the idea

(Newser) - The EPA has begun the process of overturning an Obama-era rule on the emission of methane at oil and gas operations, reports the Wall Street Journal . The move is in line with the Trump administration's anti-regulatory philosophy, but environmentalists are incensed because methane is seen as a major contributor... More »

Mars Rover Finds Possible New Sign of Life on Mars

The Curiosity rover detected a puff of gas

(Newser) - It's been a while, but Martian methane is back. NASA's Curiosity rover detected rich amounts of methane in the planet's air on Wednesday, reigniting hope of life on Mars, the New York Times reports. "Given this surprising result, we've reorganized the weekend to run a... More »

Greenhouse Gas Levels Haven't Been This Bad in 3M Years

Researcher says the gravity has 'not sunk in'

(Newser) - Congratulations, you've lived to see a planet transformed back to the Pliocene Epoch , at least in terms of greenhouse gas levels. "The window of opportunity for action is almost closed," says the UN's World Meteorological Organization after its annual assessment found concentrations of carbon dioxide in... More »

White House Takes Third Step to Ease Greenhouse Gas Rules

Administration plans to weaken restrictions on the release of methane gas

(Newser) - The Trump White House thinks the previous administration went overboard on rules about greenhouse gases, and it's about to make its third big move to correct that. After earlier moves on carbon dioxide pollution from autos and coal plants , this time it's all about methane, reports the New ... More »

Scientists Trying a Cow Trick: Adding Seaweed to Feed

The test will see whether it can reduce emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas

(Newser) - University of California researchers are feeding seaweed to dairy cows in an attempt to make cattle more climate-friendly, per the AP . UC Davis is studying whether adding small amounts of seaweed to cattle feed can help reduce their emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that's released when cattle... More »

Court: EPA Can't Delay Obama-Era Methane Rule

Pruitt overstepped authority, DC court says

(Newser) - A federal appeals court ruled Monday that the head of the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped his authority in trying to delay implementation of an Obama administration rule requiring oil and gas companies to monitor and reduce methane leaks. In a split decision, the three-judge panel from the US Court of... More »

Surprise! Senate Fails to Repeal Obama-Era Rule

It was a rare victory for environmentalists during Trump presidency

(Newser) - Something unprecedented under President Trump's watch happened Wednesday: The Senate failed to repeal an Obama-era rule. The Washington Post reports it was a surprise 49-51 defeat for a resolution that would have repealed a Bureau of Land Management rule curbing methane emissions, with Republicans John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and... More »

'Super Grass' to Reduce Methane Emissions From Belching Cows

Researchers say they're able to genetically modify the grass for easier digestion

(Newser) - The grass is about to get greener thanks to DNA technology out of Denmark. Researchers say they've genetically modified a "super grass" that is easier on cow's stomachs, thereby helping them digest the grass more easily and thus belch out less methane gas, reports the BBC . (No,... More »

Surprise Global Warming Contributor: Reservoirs

They produce as much yearly greenhouse gas emissions as Brazil

(Newser) - There's a new enemy in the battle against global warming: reservoirs. Researchers studying more than 250 of the world's reservoirs found they produce the equivalent of 1 gigaton of carbon dioxide every year, the Washington Post reports. According to Popular Science , that's about the same amount of... More »

California Is Going After Its Farting Cows

It's all part of Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to fight climate change

(Newser) - California Gov. Jerry Brown kept up his assault on climate change Monday, pushing through a law meant to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from dairy farms and landfills. "You know, when Noah wanted to build his ark, most of the people laughed at him?" Brown said, per the Sacramento Bee , adding... More »

America's Worst Methane Hot Spot Might Be an Easy Fix

It's mostly tied to natural gas production: NASA study

(Newser) - For more than a decade, scientists have been aware of a methane hot spot the size of Delaware in the Four Corners region of the US. Now they know what's responsible. A NASA study finds more than 250 sources of the leak in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah,... More »

Underwater 'Lost City' Is Something Else Entirely

Looks like mystery off of Greek island comes down to methane

(Newser) - A "lost city" discovered by snorkelers off the Greek island of Zakynthos isn't an underwater metropolis after all. "We investigated the site, which is between [6.5 to 16 feet] underwater, and found that it is actually a natural geologically occurring phenomenon," Julian Andrews, lead author... More »

Spacecraft Blasts Off to Seek Alien Life on Mars

Russian and Euro space agencies send ExoMars craft to measure gases

(Newser) - Anyone who glanced at the skies above Kazakhstan Monday morning may have seen the trails of a spacecraft headed out on a search for alien life on Mars. Per the Guardian , the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, a joint effort by the European Space Agency and Russia's Roscosmos agency, launched... More »

Jury Awards 2 Couples $4.2M Over Fracking Pollution

Couples argued methane reached water wells in Pennsylvania

(Newser) - It was worth the wait: Two Pennsylvania couples were awarded $4.2 million on Thursday, more than six years after first accusing Cabot Oil & Gas of contaminating their well water. Originally among a group of 44 Susquehanna County residents who sued Cabot in 2009, these two couples—Nolen Scott... More »

California's Huge Gas Leak Officially an 'Emergency'

Governor makes it so, but fix still could be months away

(Newser) - California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Wednesday over the crazy natural gas leak that's been spewing massive amounts of methane over a Los Angeles neighborhood since October and may not be fixed for months. Some related coverage:
  • Brown's declaration seeks to speed up the repair
... More »

There's an Environmental Disaster Happening in LA

Solution to methane gas leak is still months away

(Newser) - Erin Brockovich is calling it the worst environmental catastrophe since the 2010 BP oil spill: Methane has been leaking from a well in Los Angeles for at least two months and will continue to do so for at least two more. Southern California Gas detected the leak— seen here using... More »

How Your Coffee Grounds Can Help Save the World

Heating used grounds with potassium hydroxide enables methane storage

(Newser) - As if coffee isn't amazing enough already. A team of researchers—who, yes, got the idea over a cup of coffee—are reporting in the journal Nanotechnology that soaking spent coffee grounds in potassium hydroxide and then heating the grounds in a furnace creates a material that can store... More »

Scientists Devise Way to Clean Up Cow Burps

Small molecule could also curb greenhouse gas emissions

(Newser) - Cows are notorious methane gas producers, belching somewhere between 132 and 264 gallons of gas produced by food fermenting in the rumen (one of the four parts of their stomachs) every day. As the Washington Post reports, that's so significant that ruminant animals—including sheep and goats—actually contribute... More »

This Methane-Run Tractor Could Be a Gamechanger

New Holland T6 could significantly cut costs and pollution

(Newser) - Luca Remmert's dream of running a self-sustainable farm is within sight. He produces energy from corn and grain near the northern Italian city of Turin and hopes in the not too distant future to run all of his eight tractors on methane generated at the farm. Remmert's 1,... More »

We Massively Underestimate Methane Pollution: Study

New study finds fault in device used to measure leaks

(Newser) - The amount of methane leaking into the atmosphere from natural gas sites and contributing to global warming might be highly underestimated, according to a researcher who happens to have invented the technology used to measure leaks. In a new paper published today , Touché Howard notes an issue with the EPA-approved... More »

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