In a new show that Bloomberg Green released at the beginning of 2023, real climate change facts and use cases from the industry are presented in a way that informs and empowers the audience on the subject matter.
The new show is named Getting Warmer and hosted by actor Kal Penn who presents scientific facts in a humorous way, chasing after the frontiers of climate solutions and the people implementing them. You can watch the episodes here.
In episode 8 of the series – Tackling Methane, Mr Penn reveals shocking and terrifying facts about the impact of methane leaks on global warming. Natural gas is often proclaimed as the transition fuel towards a net zero economy. However, natural gas is composed of 70-90% methane. When natural gas leaks into the atmosphere, so do methane.
Methane, as we know, is a potent greenhouse gas, a major contributor to global warming and over 80 times more potent than CO2 in the short term at trapping heat in the atmosphere.
Natural gas is cleaner than oil and coal in the sense that when burnt it releases almost twice as less CO2 into the atmosphere. However, methane normally leaks into the air from natural gas when it is extracted and transported.
According to Getting Warmer, even if only 3% of the natural gas leaks from production and transportation, it becomes worse for climate change than coal.
As currently there are no regulations in the US that would require companies to track their methane leaks, the world doesn’t know the exact amount of leaks. According to IEA estimates, the global energy sector was responsible for around 135 million metric tons of methane emitted into the atmosphere in 2021.
That amount is equivalent to the global warming potential of around 10.8 gigatons of CO2 emissions over a 20-year period.
The show also features the staggering discoveries of scientists that have accounted for the methane leaks in the Permian Basin. Their findings show that 9% of the methane produced in the area is leaking directly into the atmosphere which is enough to make natural gas three times worse for the climate than coal.
Triple Crown Resources, LLC – a Texas-based energy company is also featured in the episode. The company has measured its methane leaks and has found a rate of 3.5% of the total methane it produces. After the company took care of fixing its leaks, it found a shocking truth. Preventing methane leaks has saved it $3.5 million since the implementation of the measures.
As the Tackling Methane episode points out, fixing methane leaks is one of the quickest, cheapest and most efficient measures in mitigating climate change. If more efforts from governments, regulations, and businesses are directed into taking care of this problem, the world can significantly increase its chances of limiting man-made global warming.