There are plenty of beefs about the oil industry’s impact on climate change. Turns out livestock account for 70 percent more methane (a potent greenhouse gas) emissions than the oil and gas industry
The finding, is part of a new study based on old data collected a decade ago. The findings indicate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency underestimated the amount of methane gas from cattle, pigs and other farm animals. Turns out that’s not the only miscalculation the agency may have made. The new research suggests the EPA also overestimated emissions from the oil and gas industry.
The satellite data came from measurements of atmospheric methane by an instrument known as SCIMACHY – the Scanning Imaging Absorption spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartograph – aboard the European Space Agency’s Envisat environmental spacecraft.
The satellite data showed livestock burping, flatulence and manure was the source of more than 13 million tons of methane gas in 2004, compared with the EPA’s estimate of 9.7 million tons, according to a study published last month in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.
SCIMACHY measurements showed oil and gas industries released 7 million tons of methane gas into the atmosphere, compared to the EPA’s estimate of 9.9 million tons.
Earlier this month (July) NASA launched the Orbiting Carbon Observatory to take new measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide. We could have results by next year.