Greenhouse Gases


Greenhouse Gases from human activities are the most significant driver of observed climate change since the mid-20th century.

A little history:

For most of the past 800,000 years—longer than human civilization has existed—the concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere was between about 200 and 280 parts per million. (In other words, there were 200 to 280 molecules of the gases per million molecules of air.) But in the past century, that concentration has jumped to more than 400 parts per million, driven up by human activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation. 

Identified by scientists as far back as 1896, the natural warming of the earth (that results when greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap heat from the sun --that would otherwise escape into space) creates what is called the greenhouse effect. To quote from the NRDC, this is a good thing until it isn’t. It warms the planet to its comfortable average of 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) and keeps life on earth, well, livable. Without it the world would be a frozen, uninhabitable place, more like Mars. The problem is, mankind’s voracious burning of fossil fuels for energy is artificially amping up the natural greenhouse effect.

How Does the Greenhouse Effect Work?

Sunlight makes the earth habitable. While 30% of the solar energy that reaches our world is reflected back to space, approximately 70%  is absorbed by the land and the oceans (often called “carbon sinks”, with the rest being absorbed by the atmosphere, heating our planet. This heat is then radiated back up in the form of invisible infrared light. While some of this infrared light continues on into space, the vast majority—indeed, some 90% —gets absorbed by atmospheric gases, known as greenhouse gases, and redirected back toward the earth, causing further warming. This is what is often called “the greenhouse effect”.

The result? An increase in global warming that is altering the planet’s climate systems in countless ways. 

Gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect:

Carbon dioxide (CO2) enters the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil), solid waste, trees and other biological materials, and also as a result of certain chemical reactions (e.g., manufacture of cement). About 76% of global human-caused emissions sticks around for quite a while. Once emitted,  40% still remains after 100 years, 20% after 1,000 years, and 10% as long as 10,000 years later.

Methane (CH4) is emitted during the production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil as well as resulting from livestock , other agricultural practices, land use & decay of organic waste in municipal landfills).While super-polluting greenhouse gas emissions like methane don’t last  in the atmosphere as long as CO2 (living decades rather than centuries), they do plenty of damage while they’re hanging around, accelerating the pace of global warming. A United Nations study issued in May, 2021 suggested that focusing on methane reductions from fossil fuels activities, landfills and agricultural production could help avoid almost 0.3 degrees Celsius of warming by the early 2040s.

Nitrous oxide (N20) is emitted during agricultural, land use, industrial activities, combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste, as well as during treatment of wastewater.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)are synthetic, powerful greenhouse gases that are emitted from a variety of industrial processes.

Water Vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas increasing as the Earth’s atmosphere warms, but so does the possibility of clouds and precipitation.

Each of these gases can remain in the atmosphere for different amounts of time, ranging from a few years to thousands of years. They all remain long enough to become well mixed, meaning that the amount that is measured in the atmosphere is roughly the same all over the world, regardless of the source of the emissions.

Some gases are more effective than others at making the planet warmer and “thickening the Earth’s blanket.” The EPA has that covered as well.




The Consequences:

As greenhouse gas emissions from human activities increase, they build up in the atmosphere and warm the climate, pushing the planet into unprecedented territory, ravaging ecosystems, raising sea levels and exposing millions of people to new weather extremes, not to mention accelerating disease and extinction to all forms of life. At the current rate of emissions, the world will burn through its remaining “carbon budget” by 2030 — putting the ambitious goal of keeping warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) irrevocably out of reach.

 What do the Scientists Say:

The latest IPCC report (4/4/2022) suggests that the world is running out of options to hit climate goals. Governments, businesses and individuals must summon the willpower to transform economies, embrace new habits and leave behind the age of fossil fuels — or face the catastrophic consequences of unchecked climate change.

What is the Federal Government Doing:

During the Trump administration, U.S. action around most super pollutants (with the exception of nitrogen oxide) came from states and cities, with the cooperation of some industry associations. That’s changing under the Biden administration, although even there, change has proven difficult, as demonstrated, for example, when the Build Back Better bill, the most sweeping climate bill in U.S. history collapsed after coal-state Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) pulled his support. 

  • In April of 2021, a bipartisan vote in the U.S. Senate reinstated an Obama-era regulation that requires oil and gas companies to monitor and repair methane leaks along pipelines, at storage facilities and in extraction operations (one of more than 100 environmental rules slashed by former President Trump).
  • In April of 2021, the Department of Energy (DoE)  committed $35 million for technologies to reduce methane, which it estimates contributes about 10 % of annual GHG emissions. The funding is focused on solutions for dealing with the exhaust from natural gas engines; rethinking the practice of flaring; and handling coal mine ventilation.
  • In May of 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also announced it is moving forward to phase down HFCs, mainly used for refrigerators and air conditioners. This measure, according to the EPA and the legislators supporting this action, would help to avoid 0.5 degrees of warming by 2100. The rule falls under the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, a piece of bipartisan legislation adopted in late 2020 that provides “regulatory certainty” for decreasing the production and import of HFCs into the U.S. by 85 percent over the next 15 years.
  • More than 100 countries have signed the Global Methane Pledge, which requires a 30% cut in methane emissions by 2030. In November of 2021, the Biden administration unveiled new rules to curb methane, from oil and gas operations.
  • On April 23, 2022, Biden, at the Leader’s Summit on Climate. pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% by 2030.
  • Biden got some good news in May of 2022, when the Supreme Court allowed the administration to use a higher estimate for the societal cost of rising greenhouse gases as federal agencies draft regulations, turning aside a request from Republican-led states to prevent agencies from estimating the “social cost of carbon.”

Effects of the Coronavirus:

Based on preliminary data for 2021, Rhodium Group estimated, in January 2022, that economy-wide GHG emissions increased 6.2% in 2021 relative to 2020, though emissions remained 5% below 2019 levels. Current estimates put year-on-year GDP growth at 5.7%. indicating that GHG emissions rebounded slightly faster than the overall economy in 2021, largely due to a jump in coal-fired power generation, which increased 17% from 2020, and a rapid rebound in road transportation (primarily freight). As a result, progress in reducing US GHG emissions was reversed in 2021, moving from 22.2% below 2005 levels in 2020 to only 17.4% in 2021, putting the US even further off track from achieving its 2025 and 2030 climate targets. More on CCRs CORONAVIRUS page.

New Technologies?

What climate-tech superheroes hope to play a role in combating these super-pollutant villains? Look to our NEW TECHNOLOGIES page where the majority of explorations focus on carbon capture not reduction.

Some of these investments will no doubt be controversial with climate activists, who are likely to argue (legitimately) that they perpetuate natural gas extraction processes. There is no doubt, however, that regulating methane gas is critical for advancing President Joe Biden’s goal to slash U.S. emissions in half from 2005 levels over the next decade and achieve a net-zero economy by 2050.

Old Technologies

There is a great deal of discussion about importance of planting trees on land and kelp in the ocean to sequester carbon. More on that to be found on other pages: SEA TO SOILLAND & DEFORESTATION, and OCEAN AS CARBON SINK.


U.S. Carbon Emissions Set to Fall Again, a Key Sign of Progress

By E&E News and Benjamin Storrow 11/21/23
A projected drop in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions—one of the largest of the past decade—is still not enough to meet the country’s commitments under the Paris climate accord. U.S. emissions are on track to fall…
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Texas produces twice as much methane as better regulated neighbor, study finds

By Oliver Milman 11/08/23
Oil and gas production in Texas is spewing out double the rate of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, than in the more regulated state of New Mexico, new satellite data shared with the Guardian shows,…
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Maintaining A Reliable Grid Under EPA’s Proposed 111 Rules Restricting Power Plant Emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed “111 rules” restricting greenhouse gas emissions have sparked debate about whether they will create consequences that threaten grid reliability. However, rather than raising new concerns, these objections principally raise…
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The World’s Biggest Carbon Removal Plant Just Turned 2. So, Uh, Is It Working?

By Emily Pontecorvo 10/31/23
In the spring of 2021, the world’s leading authority on energy published a “roadmap” for preventing the most catastrophic climate change scenarios. One of its conclusions was particularly daunting. Getting energy-related emissions down to net…
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Landfills in Washington and Oregon leaked ‘explosive’ levels of methane last year

By Joseph Winters 10/26/23
Landfills in Oregon and Washington repeatedly exceeded federal standards for methane emissions last year, according to documents obtained by an environmental group.
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China Set to Release Long-Awaited Methane Plan Before COP28

By Bloomberg News 10/25/23
The Chinese government is preparing to publish a roadmap to cut emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, before the COP28 summit that starts in November.
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Carbon removal looks more promising by the day. Is methane next?

By Chelsea Harvey 10/19/23
Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is essential to meeting international climate goals, scientists say. Without it, it’s all but impossible to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to limit global warming to 1.5…
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The next front in the climate fight: U.S. exports of natural gas

By Maxine Joselow and Timothy Puko 10/17/23
Environmentalists are gearing up for their next giant climate fight: They want to force a showdown with the Biden administration over the massive expansion of U.S. natural gas exports. Less than a decade ago, U.S.…
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Urgent action to cut methane emissions from fossil fuel operations essential to achieve global climate targets

Decisive, far-reaching efforts to cut methane emissions from fossil fuel production and use must go hand-in-hand with decarbonisation of our energy systems to limit global warming to 1.5 °C, according to a new report by…
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Immediate Methane Cuts Can Prevent Nearly a Million Premature Deaths, IEA Says

By Aaron Clark 10/11/23
Immediate and targeted methane cuts from the fossil fuel industry could prevent nearly 1 million premature deaths due to ozone exposure by midcentury, the International Energy Agency said in a report released Wednesday. The reductions…
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Wyoming passes up federal funds to voluntarily close oil and gas wells

By Dustin Bleizeffer 10/05/23
Gov. Mark Gordon announced this week the state will decline an invitation to apply for millions in federal Inflation Reduction Act funds aimed at shuttering low-producing oil and gas wells.
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Natural Gas Leaks Throughout Path From Well To End Use

By Michael Barnard 09/20/23
The world has a methane gas problem. We love to burn natural gas, which is mostly methane, to make electricity and heat. Our agricultural and food systems leave a lot of biomass lying around where…
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Rulemaking Notices for GHG Reporting

This page provides a listing of Federal Register notices and links to more information for rule changes and proposed rule changes that affect the reporting requirements for Reporting Year 2016 and beyond.

The Cost Of Climate Pollution

Climate change will have, and in some cases has already had, severe consequences for society. These consequences range from disruption of daily life to major physical destruction, including the spread of disease, decreased food security,…

Climate Change: Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

Based on the annual report from NOAA’s Global Monitoring Lab, global average atmospheric carbon dioxide was 417.06 parts per million (“ppm” for short) in 2022, setting a new record high. The increase between 2021 and…

EPA Publishes 30th Annual U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 30th annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (GHG Inventory), which presents a national-level overview of annual greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2021.…

Get the Facts on HFCs

They were introduced to replace the gases that caused the ozone hole and are used mainly as refrigerants in cooling systems - from our fridges, cars, and home air conditioners to factories and supermarkets. Today…

Exxon The Road Not Taken

This nine-part history of Exxon’s engagement with the emerging science of climate change is the result of an eight months-long investigation conducted in 2015. The stories span four decades, and are based on primary sources,…

Report on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases

This report presents new estimates of the social cost of carbon (SC-CO2), social cost of methane (SC-CH4), and social cost of nitrous oxide (SC-N2O), collectively referred to as the “social cost of greenhouse gases” (SC-GHG).…

U.S.-EU Joint Press Release on the Global Methane Pledge Energy Pathway

The following text was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the European Union. Today, the United States, the European Union, and 11 countries launched the Global Methane Pledge Energy Pathway…

What is ‘committed warming’? A climate scientist explains why global warming can continue after emissions end

It refers to future increases in global temperatures that will be caused by greenhouse gases that have already been emitted. In other words, if the clean energy transition happened overnight, how much warming would still…

Development of a Framework for Evaluating Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Information for Decision Making

This fast-track consensus study will develop a framework for evaluating global anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) information to support decision making. The committee will examine emerging approaches that supplement self-reported data with other independent data sources…

GHG Reduction Programs & Strategies

A wide range of strategies are available to help organizations reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Below are a list of resources and guides to help your organization identify and implement GHG reduction opportunities.

What are greenhouse gases?

Greenhouse gases are gases in Earth’s atmosphere that trap heat. They let sunlight pass through the atmosphere, but they prevent the heat that the sunlight brings from leaving the atmosphere. The main greenhouse gases are:

Carbon Dioxide Latest Measurement

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important heat-trapping (greenhouse) gas, which is released through human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels, as well as natural processes such as respiration and volcanic eruptions. The first…

Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Greenhouse gases trap heat and make the planet warmer. Human activities are responsible for almost all of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last 150 years.1 The largest source of greenhouse…

Methane Emissions: A Primer

Methane is the world’s simplest hydrocarbon, with a chemical formula of CH4 (one atom of carbon and four

The noaa annual greenhouse gas index (aggi)

ncreases in the abundance of atmospheric greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution are mainly the result of human activity and are largely responsible for the observed increases in global temperature [IPCC 2014]. Because climate projections…

Reducing methane is the fastest way to slow global warming

Raise the alarm for countries to reduce methane and carbon dioxide pollution. Join the methane movement. #cutmethane

How You Can Help Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Home

Take advantage of the free home energy audits offered by many utilities. Then put the recommendations into practice. Simple measures, such as installing a programmable thermostat to replace your old dial unit or sealing and…

Energy and the environment explained

Many of the chemical compounds in the earth's atmosphere act as greenhouse gases. When sunlight strikes the earth’s surface, some of it radiates back toward space as infrared radiation (heat). Greenhouse gases absorb this infrared…

Carbon Dioxide

Latest Measurement: April 2021  Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important heat-trapping (greenhouse) gas, which is released through human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels, as well as natural processes such as respiration and…

Greenhouse Effect 101

By increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, we’re amplifying the planet’s natural greenhouse effect and turning up the dial on global warming.

Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

Did you ever wonder what reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 1 million metric tons means in everyday terms? The greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator can help you understand just that, translating abstract measurements into concrete…

Each Country’s Share of CO2 Emissions

The world’s countries emit vastly different amounts of heat-trapping  gases into the atmosphere. The chart above and table below both show data compiled by the International Energy Agency, which estimates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from…

Architecture’s Carbon Problem

Rising global temperatures are causing climate-related natural disasters, and one of the biggest culprits is in plain sight: Buildings. In total, buildings account for about 40% of annual fossil fuel carbon-dioxide emissions (CO2), leading to…

Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data

At the global scale, the key greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are: Carbon dioxide (CO2): Fossil fuel use is the primary source of CO2. CO2 can also be emitted from direct human-induced impacts on…

The Global Carbon Project

The Global Carbon Project (GCP) integrates knowledge of greenhouse gases for human activities and the Earth system. Our projects include global budgets for three dominant greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide —…

Household Carbon Footprint Calculator

Many of our daily activities cause emissions of greenhouse gases. For example, we produce greenhouse gas emissions from burning gasoline when we drive, burning oil or gas for home heating, or using electricity generated from…

Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks

EPA has prepared the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks since the early 1990s. This annual report provides a comprehensive accounting of total greenhouse gas emissions for all man-made sources in the United…

Overview of Greenhouse Gases

Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are called greenhouse gases. This section provides information on emissions and removals of the main greenhouse gases to and from the atmosphere. For more information on the other…

Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Greenhouse gases trap heat and make the planet warmer. Human activities are responsible for almost all of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last 150 years.1 The largest source of greenhouse…

Federal Citations to the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases

Executive Order 12866 requires that federal agencies assess the cost and the benefits of intended regulations as part of their regulatory impact analyses (RIAs). The 1993 executive order stated


U.S. fossil exports wipe out carbon cuts — report

By Jean Chemnick   09/15/23  
Carbon emissions from U.S. exports of fossil fuels are erasing hard-won domestic greenhouse gas reductions — and are on track to prevent the United States from meeting its climate goals.
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Methane From Oil and Gas Are Worse Than Reported to UN, Satellites Show

By Aaron Clark   09/15/23  
Observed methane releases from global oil and gas operations are 30% higher than what countries estimate in reports to the UN, according to a new study that analyzed satellite observations of the potent greenhouse gas.
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California Senate approves orphan oil wells bill

By Wes Venteicher   09/13/23  
The California Senate narrowly approved a bill Wednesday that would require oil well owners to take more responsibility upfront for the costs of eventually plugging used wells.
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Why Biden’s methane fee could backfire

By Maxine Joselow   09/07/23  
President Biden’s signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act, largely offers carrots for polluting industries to cut their emissions. But it also has a powerful stick: the Methane Emissions Reduction Program.
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Milton Friedman’s Alma Mater Exposes Huge Cost of Emissions

By Frances Schwartzkopff   08/24/23  
A study published by academics at the University of Chicago has found that corporate emissions are undermining prosperity. The damage caused when publicly traded companies emit greenhouse gases is equivalent — on average — to…
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YSE Scientists Make Critical Breakthrough in Mapping Global Methane Emissions from Rivers and Streams

Methane levels in the atmosphere are now more than two and a half times their pre-industrial level, accounting for 25% of global warming to date. Understanding the many sources of methane emissions and how they…
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The richest Americans account for 40 percent of U.S. climate emissions

By Kasha Patel   08/17/23  
The richest 10 percent of U.S. households are responsible for 40 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study released Thursday in PLOS Climate. The study, which looked at how a household’s…
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Biden-Harris Administration Proposes to Improve Air Pollution Emissions Data

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced proposed updates to the Agency’s Air Emissions Reporting Requirements rule, including proposing to require reporting of hazardous air pollutants, or “air toxics.” Air toxics are known or suspected…
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Canada wildfires devour land, vault CO2 emissions higher

From Andrew Freedman   07/19/23  
The simultaneous, record-shattering heat in the U.S., Europe and Asia may be getting all the headlines (more on these events below), but hotter and drier-than-average conditions are fueling the disaster unfolding in Canada.
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Xi says China will follow its own carbon reduction path as US climate envoy Kerry meets top officials in Beijing

By Nectar Gan   07/19/23  
China will follow its own path to cut carbon emissions, leader Xi Jinping vowed Tuesday, as US climate envoy John Kerry called for faster action to confront the climate crisis in a high-profile visit to…
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How Exxon’s $4.9B deal to buy Denbury may reshape the emerging carbon capture landscape

By Amanda Drane   07/14/23  
Exxon Mobil's plan to buy Plano-based Denbury hastens the supermajor's plans to develop a carbon capture hub along the Gulf Coast and positions it as a global leader in the emerging carbon capture industry, analysts…
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Leaks Can Make Natural Gas as Bad for the Climate as Coal, a Study Says

By Hiroko Tabuchi   07/13/23  
Natural gas, long seen as a cleaner alternative to coal and an important tool in the fight to slow global warming, can be just as harmful to the climate, a new study has concluded, unless…
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Reeling Arctic glaciers are leaving bubbling methane in their wake, scientists warn

By Chris Mooney   07/06/23  
Scientists working in one of the world’s fastest-warming places found that rapidly retreating glaciers are triggering the release into the atmosphere of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that causes global temperatures to rise...
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Europe Targets Missing Emissions That Could Bust Climate Goals

By Petra Sorge and Akshat Rathi   07/04/23  
The science on tackling climate change is simple: zero out carbon dioxide emissions and global temperatures will stabilize. But a carbon accounting quirk might mean that, even if all countries meet that goal, pollution from…
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Cement emits as much CO2 as India. Why is it so hard to fix?

By Shannon Osaka   06/27/23  
Let’s do a quiz: After water, what is the most-used material in the world? Is it steel? Wood? Aluminum? Plastic? The answer, it turns out, is concrete. Concrete, a blend of water, sand, gravel and…
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Wildfire burn areas in California are growing ever larger due to greenhouse gas emissions

By Hayley Smith   06/14/23  
Although California may be enjoying a lull in this year’s wildfire season — courtesy of a wet winter and a cool spring — scientists say humanity’s relentless burning of fossil fuels has ensured that wildland…
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‘The fire equivalent of an ice age’: Humanity enters a new era of fire

By Shannon Osaka, Michael E. Miller and Beatriz Ríos   06/10/23  
When the sky over New York City turned a thick, silty orange on Wednesday, 8 million residents woke up in a new era. Until this week, the East Coast had remained cocooned, thousands of miles…
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Methane reduction holds key to averting climate catastrophe

By Paul Brown   06/09/23  
Halting known sources, such as leaky oilwells, could slash projected emissions by half by 2030
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World’s ‘carbon budget’ for key climate goal was halved in just three years

By Shannon Osaka   06/08/23  
The world has eliminated half of its remaining carbon budget to keep warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared with preindustrial levels in just the last three years, scientists said Thursday.
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The War Against Methane Leaks Gets a New Data Tool

By Jennifer A. Dlouhy and Eric Roston   06/08/23  
Analysts have a more precise measurement of how much US natural gas goes directly into the atmosphere, worsening climate change far more than if it was first sold in the marketplace for energy. About 2.2%…
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Landfills leak climate-killing methane. What is Colorado doing about it?

By Michael Booth   06/06/23  
Gas from dumps is more potent than carbon dioxide, a new report shows. Some Colorado landfills convert methane to electricity.
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Carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere mark a near-record surge

By Amudalat Ajasa   06/05/23  
Despite rising awareness about global climate change and its devastating impacts, carbon dioxide levels keep treading in the wrong direction.
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Major polluter escapes EPA power plant rule

By Benjamin Storrow   05/25/23  
The agency goes easy on gas-fired steam turbines, which generally operate only when demand is high. But the units are among the country's largest emitters of planet-warming pollution.
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Methane Mitigation in Texas Could Create Thousands of Jobs in the Oil and Gas Sector

By Martha Pskowski   05/17/23  
A new report finds that methane regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency could spur job growth in Texas as oil and gas operators measure, monitor and mitigate the harmful greenhouse gas.
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The U.S. is taking a giant step toward meeting its climate goal

By Timothy Puko   05/11/23  
The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced a proposal for the tightest limits ever on power plants’ planet-warming pollution, a policy it must enact to meet President Biden’s pledge to halve U.S. emissions by 2030…
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Orbiting Methane ‘Speed Cameras’ Are Catching Polluters in the Act

By Aaron Clark   04/28/23  
Think of them as speed cameras, but for methane. Just like roadside instruments used to identify drivers breaking traffic rules, new powerful satellites are starting to catch oil and gas operators releasing the planet-warming gas…
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EPA plan would impose drastic cuts on power plant emissions by 2040

By Timothy Puko   04/22/23  
The Biden administration is preparing to unveil a proposal to require power plants to drastically reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions by 2040, another attempt to regulate one of the country’s biggest contributors to climate change after…
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E.P.A. to Propose First Controls on Greenhouse Gases From Power Plants

By Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman   04/22/23  
President Biden’s administration is poised to announce limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that could compel them to capture the pollution from their smokestacks, technology now used by fewer than 20 of the…
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Louisiana energy companies wasted $82 million in natural gas, study finds

By Wesley Muller   04/13/23  
A new environmental advocacy group analysis released Thursday found Louisiana’s oil and gas industry wasted over $82 million worth of natural gas in 2019, which is more than two-thirds of the state’s yearly residential consumption.
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Greenhouse gas emissions rose at ‘alarming’ rate last year, US data shows

By Nina Lakhani   04/06/23  
Record temperatures, devastating floods and superstorms are causing death and destruction across the planet but humans are failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions fueling the climate emergency, new US data shows. Atmospheric levels of carbon…
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Potent Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depleting Chemicals Called CFCs Are Back on the Rise Following an International Ban, a New Study Finds

By Phil McKenna   04/03/23  
Emissions of a small group of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), man-made chemicals that destroy Earth’s protective ozone layer and fuel global warming, are back on the rise after their production was all but banned more than a…
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Social cost of carbon: What it is, why it matters, and why the Biden administration seeks to raise it

The social cost of carbon has been called “the most important number you’ve never heard of.” It is the main measure of the economic benefits of mitigating climate change, an estimate in dollars of the…
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Get the Facts on HFCs

They were introduced to replace the gases that caused the ozone hole and are used mainly as refrigerants in cooling systems - from our fridges, cars, and home air conditioners to factories and supermarkets. Today…
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Environmentalists alarmed by push to ‘undermine’ New York’s climate law

By Marie J. French   04/02/23  
The proposal has support from the fossil fuel industry and would likely enable more combustion of natural gas and other fuels for longer than currently envisioned under New York’s climate law in a plan approved…
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California to Require Half of All Heavy Trucks Sold by 2035 to Be Electric

By Coral Davenport   03/31/23  
The state is setting strict limits to try to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from transportation, the sector of the American economy that generates the most greenhouse gases....
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Insurer Chubb demands energy producers cut methane emissions for coverage

By Leslie Scism and Rhiannon Hoyle   03/22/23  
Global insurer Chubb Ltd. is tightening its requirements on insurance policies for oil-and- gas producers, demanding that they reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
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An Arizona plant will pull CO2 from the air and trap it in concrete

By Maria Gallucci   03/22/23  
For the last two centuries, nearly all the concrete used in buildings, bridges, dams and roads has been held together with a key ingredient: Portland cement. The limestone and clay fusion is ubiquitous, inexpensive —…
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U.S. can shift to EVs without widespread, destructive mining, report finds

By Christopher Bonasia   03/21/23  
The new report suggests limiting electric vehicle battery sizes and reducing car dependency to lower the demand for lithium by up to 66%.
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EIA: U.S. carbon emissions set to drop, but miss Biden goals

By Zack Colman   03/20/23  
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are expected to drop sharply by the end of the decade but are likely to fall short of President Joe Biden’s goals for the power sector, the U.S. Energy Information Administration…
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Analysis: US grid could be 90% carbon-free by 2030 with IRA tax credits

By Zack Budryk   03/16/23  
Under the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, the American electrical grid could achieve up to 90 percent of its electricity without carbon emissions by 2030, according to an analysis published Wednesday by the National…
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EIA projects that U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions will fall through 2050 in AEO2023

U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions drop 25% to 38% below what they were in 2005 by 2030, according to our projections in the Annual Energy Outlook 2023 (AEO2023). We use 2005 as an emissions reference year…
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What is the social cost of carbon?

By Elijah Asdourian and David Wessel   03/14/23  
The social cost of carbon (SCC) is an estimate of the cost, in dollars, of the damage done by each additional ton of carbon emissions. It also is an estimate of the benefit of any…
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A huge city polluter? Buildings. Here’s a surprising fix.

By Brad Plumer   03/10/23  
On cold mornings in New York City, boilers in the basements of thousands of buildings kick on, burning natural gas or oil to provide heat for the people upstairs. Carbon dioxide from these boilers wafts…
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US carbon pipeline faces setback as residents refuse to cede land rights

By Leah Douglas   03/09/23  
Navigator CO2 Ventures’ proposed carbon pipeline project in the U.S. Midwest is struggling to secure a site to store millions of tons of greenhouse gas it hopes to collect from the region’s ethanol plants, as…
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Meat, dairy and rice production will bust 1.5C climate target

By Damian Carrington   03/06/23  
Emissions from food system alone will drive the world past target, unless high-methane foods are tackledEmissions from the food system alone will drive the world past 1.5C of global heating, unless high-methane foods are tackled.Climate-heating…
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Revealed: 1,000 super-emitting methane leaks risk triggering climate tipping points

By Damian Carrington   03/06/23  
Vast releases of gas, along with future ‘methane bombs’, represent huge threat – but curbing emissions would rapidly reduce global heating‘We don’t feel safe’: US community in shock after record methane leakMore than 1,000 “super-emitter”…
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Judge upholds EPA anti-pollution rule against power companies’ challenge

By Elliot Mincberg   03/06/23  
Judge Michelle Childs, nominated by President Biden to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, wrote a unanimous decision that rejected a challenge by a group of power companies to EPA rules requiring…
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CO2 emissions in 2022

CO2 Emissions in 2022 provides a complete picture of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in 2022. The report finds that global growth in emissions was not as high as some had originally feared amid the disruptions…
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New Report Reveals Ocean Shipping Emissions of Top U.S. Importers

By Mike Schuler   03/01/23  
The top U.S. importers emitted 3.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from shipping during the height of the pandemic-driven imports surge in 2021, according to new research released today by the Ship It Zero…
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It would take less than 3% of Big Oil’s profits to clean up methane emissions

By Emily Pontecorvo   02/22/23  
Oil companies and governments have pledged to slash methane emissions in recent years, but so far have little to show for it. Emissions of this potent greenhouse gas by the fossil fuel industry continued to…
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