• 6 minutes WTI @ 67.50, charts show $62.50 next
  • 11 minutes Saudi Fund Wants to Take Tesla Private?
  • 17 minutes Why hydrogen economics is does not work
  • 3 hours Starvation, horror in Venezuela
  • 25 mins The EU Loses The Principles On Which It Was Built
  • 5 hours Desperate Call or... Erdogan Says Turkey Will Boycott U.S. Electronics
  • 15 mins Crude Price going to $62.50
  • 10 hours Anyone Worried About the Lira Dragging EVERYTHING Else Down?
  • 3 hours Chinese EV Startup Nio Files for $1.8 billion IPO
  • 15 hours Correlation does not equal causation, but they do tend to tango on occasion
  • 14 hours Oil prices---Tug of War: Sanctions vs. Trade War
  • 3 hours WSJ *still* refuses to acknowledge U.S. Shale Oil industry's horrible economics and debts
  • 14 hours Russia retaliate: Our Response to U.S. Sanctions Will Be Precise And Painful
  • 16 hours Monsanto hit by $289 Million for cancerous weedkiller
  • 23 hours WTI @ 69.33 headed for $70s - $80s end of August
  • 6 hours < sigh > $90 Oil Is A Very Real Possibility
Alt Text

China’s Oil Futures Jump To Record High

China’s Yuan denominated crude futures…

Alt Text

Is Nigeria’s Oil Industry On The Road To Recovery?

Throughout the spring and summer…

Alt Text

What Happens To Syrian Oil Post-Civil War?

After years of conflict in…

Andy Tully

Andy Tully

Andy Tully is a veteran news reporter who is now the news editor for Oilprice.com

More Info

Trending Discussions

Can Rural Brooks Actually Pose A Threat To The Environment?

Can Rural Brooks Actually Pose A Threat To The Environment?

Few things are more emblematic of the cleanliness of nature than a babbling brook. But a bubbling brook? That may be a polluter.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison issued a paper on May 16 said those bubbles from freshwater brooks may finally answer the question about the volume of methane in the Earth’s atmosphere that is so far unaccounted for. Only human use of fossil fuels outstrips methane as a contributor to greenhouse gases.

This finding could change how policy-makers and scientists address greenhouse gases, and could prompt a new look at the use of sulfur and nitrogen in modern farming, whose runoff could affect the production of methane in stream beds.

In any event, there is growing evidence that freshwater lakes, rivers and streams are sources of plentiful amounts of methane, according to John Crawford, a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student who helped conduct the study.

The source of methane in such environments are the byproducts of bacterial metabolism. These bacteria live in the beds of lakes, rivers and streams that contain little oxygen but much organic material.

It’s long been known that wetlands generate methane. What’s new is that the waterways that drain them may also be responsible for the amount of the gas in Earth’s atmosphere. What’s still not known is how much these conduits contribute to the problem.

Methane sometimes dissolves in water as it is leached from the sediment, but sometimes it’s also encapsulated in bubbles that Crawford compared to a carbonated drink. The question was just how much methane was trapped in those bubbles.

Related Article: White House Targets Methane Emissions

From May through November 2013, the University of Wisconsin researchers focused their study on four creeks in north-central Wisconsin, including Allequash Creek, whose bed is a mix of sandy sediment and sticky mud.

The team gauged the rate of bubbles released into the water, and also trapped the bubbles, then ran their gaseous contents through a gas chromatograph – a sensor that isolates and identifies gases.

They found that the bubbles from these creeks had as much methane as has been found in wetlands and lakes. And they estimate that the bubbles can release at least 50 percent more methane into the atmosphere than methane that has dissolved into the water.

“We are missing half the story, at least in this area if we don’t include bubbles,” Crawford said. And he estimated that the amounts of methane in Allequash Creek are no different from those found in similar freshwater streams in the area.

The study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, is limited to freshwater sources in Wisconsin’s Northern Highlands Lake District and so can’t be applied worldwide. But it argues that further testing elsewhere is essential to develop a better understanding of the sources of greenhouse gases.

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com




Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment
  • Randy on May 27 2014 said:
    "He is driven by the idea that really small ecosystems — like the freshwater lakes, streams and rivers Wisconsin is known for — can potentially play a major role in the overall greenhouse gas pool."

    He's driven? Really now. Isn't that special. What a complete waist of taxpayer dollars. Next time might I suggest that our 'driven' young scientist study the release of methane from any given volcano around the world. His tiny bubbles in Wisconsin could be compared to grabbing a handful of sand in the Sahara.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News