A large increase in US methane emissions over the past decade inferred from satellite data and surface observations by A. J. Turner, D. J. Jacob, J. Benmergui, S. C. Wofsy, J. D. Maasakkers, A. Butz, O. Hasekamp, S. C. Biraud, and E. Dlugokencky, Accepted manuscript online: 6 February 2016, Geophysical Research Letters, An AGU Journal DOI: 10.1002/2016GL067987
The global burden of atmospheric methane has been increasing over the past decade but the causes are not well understood. National inventory estimates from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicate no significant trend in US anthropogenic methane emissions from 2002 to present.
Here we use satellite retrievals and surface observations of atmospheric methane to suggest that US methane emissions have increased by more than 30% over the 2002–2014 period. The trend is largest in the central part of the country but we cannot readily attribute it to any specific source type. [Leaking methane from frac’d oil and gas (including CBM) wells?] This large increase in US methane emissions could account for 30–60% of the global growth of atmospheric methane seen in the past decade. [Emphasis added]