• 6 hours Thanksgiving Gas Prices At 3-Year High
  • 10 hours Iraq’s Giant Majnoon Oilfield Attracts Attention Of Supermajors
  • 12 hours South Iraq Oil Exports Close To Record High To Offset Kirkuk Drop
  • 15 hours Iraqi Forces Find Mass Graves In Oil Wells Near Kirkuk
  • 16 hours Chevron Joint Venture Signs $1.7B Oil, Gas Deal In Nigeria
  • 17 hours Iraq Steps In To Offset Falling Venezuela Oil Production
  • 19 hours ConocoPhillips Sets Price Ceiling For New Projects
  • 3 days Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 3 days Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 4 days Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 4 days $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 4 days Venezuela Officially In Default
  • 4 days Iran Prepares To Export LNG To Boost Trade Relations
  • 4 days Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels Into Farmland
  • 4 days Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March
  • 4 days Obscure Dutch Firm Wins Venezuelan Oil Block As Debt Tensions Mount
  • 4 days Rosneft Announces Completion Of World’s Longest Well
  • 5 days Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts
  • 5 days Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks
  • 5 days Ecuador Seeks To Clear Schlumberger Debt By End-November
  • 5 days Santos Admits It Rejected $7.2B Takeover Bid
  • 5 days U.S. Senate Panel Votes To Open Alaskan Refuge To Drilling
  • 5 days Africa’s Richest Woman Fired From Sonangol
  • 5 days Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013
  • 6 days Russian Hackers Target British Energy Industry
  • 6 days Venezuela Signs $3.15B Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia
  • 6 days DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted
  • 6 days Lower Oil Prices Benefit European Refiners
  • 6 days World’s Biggest Private Equity Firm Raises $1 Billion To Invest In Oil
  • 7 days Oil Prices Tank After API Reports Strong Build In Crude Inventories
  • 7 days Iraq Oil Revenue Not Enough For Sustainable Development
  • 7 days Sudan In Talks With Foreign Oil Firms To Boost Crude Production
  • 7 days Shell: Four Oil Platforms Shut In Gulf Of Mexico After Fire
  • 7 days OPEC To Recruit New Members To Fight Market Imbalance
  • 7 days Green Groups Want Norway’s Arctic Oil Drilling Licenses Canceled
  • 7 days Venezuelan Oil Output Drops To Lowest In 28 Years
  • 7 days Shale Production Rises By 80,000 BPD In Latest EIA Forecasts
  • 7 days GE Considers Selling Baker Hughes Assets
  • 8 days Eni To Address Barents Sea Regulatory Breaches By Dec 11
  • 8 days Saudi Aramco To Invest $300 Billion In Upstream Projects

Breaking News:

Thanksgiving Gas Prices At 3-Year High

EVs Won’t Stifle Oil Demand Anytime Soon

EVs Won’t Stifle Oil Demand Anytime Soon

There will be 280 million…

Can Russia Break Its Oil Dependence?

Can Russia Break Its Oil Dependence?

Russia’s economic growth is struggling,…

One Of The Worst Sources Of Methane Emissions May Shock You

One Of The Worst Sources Of Methane Emissions May Shock You

Fossil fuels may release plenty of carbon dioxide, but they alone aren’t responsible for all of the greenhouse gases blamed for global climate change.

What causes bubbling brooks to bubble is actually methane, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin, and the same is true for the belching of cattle. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says methane has a 20 percent larger impact on the environment than CO2 does.

But rice? This grain is so important to human nutrition that it is second only to corn in its volume of production. Yet it turns out to be one of the chief sources of methane emissions on the planet, according to a study published July 22 in the journal Nature.

Related: This Is Why The U.S May Actually Not Be The No.1 Oil Producer

In fact, the study said, rice paddies are responsible for as much as 17 percent of the methane, or CH4, in the Earth’s atmosphere. And cultivation is growing to meet the increase in the world’s human population.

The methane is a natural byproduct of the decomposition of organic matter in the rice paddies. Because paddies are flooded, the report said, their “warm, waterlogged soil and exuded nutrients from rice roots provide ideal conditions for methanogenesis in paddies.” As a result, the world’s rice paddies emit between 25 million and 100 million metric tons of methane every year.

So far, there’s little that can be done to remedy the emissions of bubbling brooks and farting cows, but researchers at the Swedish University of Agriculture have, through genetic modification, developed a “high-starch low-methane-emission rice” whose roots, which decompose, are smaller and the grains are bigger, providing greater nutritional yield.

Related: Will Morocco Finally Realize Its Shale Dream?

In a commentary accompanying the article in Nature, Paul Bodelier, a microbial ecologist at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, wrote that the genetically modified rice, or “GM rice,” provides “a tremendous opportunity for more-sustainable rice cultivation.” In other words, simultaneously more food and less pollution.

In a separate interview with MIT Technology Review, Bodelier noted that humans on average eat about 150 pounds of rice per person each year. As a result, as the world’s population grows, “[i]t is expected that rice cultivation will need to increase.” And to accomplish that without increasing methane pollution would be “quite important,” he said.

Modifying the genetic makeup of the rice was fairly simple. Chuanxin Sun of the Swedish university and senior author of the study added a single gene from barley to rice, then planted it in a field next to a conventional rice field in China. Then for three years his team measured the methane emissions and the nutritional yields from both conventional and GM plants.

Related: Here’s How To Play Low Oil Prices

The results: Sun reported that the GM plants produced 43 percent more grain per plant, and also had smaller roots and thus fewer methane-emitting bacteria around them. The reduction in methane emissions was particularly effective during the summers, when they were down to 0.3 percent of total emissions from the plant’s decomposition, compared to 10 percent emissions in the conventional crop.

The reduction in methane emission was less striking in the autumn, Sun wrote, but still significant, at about half the plants total emissions.

But Sun cautioned that larger trials are needed before science can draw any concrete conclusions about the value of the genetically modified rice. In the meantime, if you’re worried about climate change, expand your focus beyond petroleum and coal to include your next dish of curried lamb on rice.

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

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