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Fugitive Emissions from the Bakken Shale Illustrate Role of Shale Production in Global Ethane ShiftEthane is the second most abundant atmospheric hydrocarbon, exerts a strong influence on tropospheric ozone, and reduces the atmosphere's oxidative capacity. Global observations showed declining ethane abundances from 1984 to 2010, while a regional measurement indicated increasing levels since 2009, with the reason for this subject to speculation. The Bakken shale is an oil and gas-producing formation centered in North Dakota that experienced a rapid increase in production beginning in 2010. We use airborne data collected over the North Dakota portion of the Bakken shale in 2014 to calculate ethane emissions of 0.23 +/- 0.07 (2 sigma) Tg/yr, equivalent to 1-3% of total global sources. Emissions of this magnitude impact air quality via concurrent increases in tropospheric ozone. This recently developed large ethane source from one location illustrates the key role of shale oil and gas production in rising global ethane levels.
Document ID
20160009777
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Authors
Kort, E. A. (Michigan Univ. Ann Arbor, MI, United States)
Smith, M. L. (Michigan Univ. Ann Arbor, MI, United States)
Murray, L. T. (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Palisades, NY, United States)
Gvakharia, A. (Michigan Univ. Ann Arbor, MI, United States)
Brandt, A. R. (Stanford Univ. Stanford, CA, United States)
Peischl, J. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Boulder, CO, United States)
Ryerson, T. B. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Boulder, CO, United States)
Sweeney, C. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Boulder, CO, United States)
Travis, K. (Harvard Univ. Cambridge, MA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 2, 2016
Publication Date
May 7, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 43
Issue: 9
ISSN: 0094-8276
Subject Category
Meteorology and Climatology
Report/Patent Number
GSFC-E-DAA-TN33987
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NNX14AI87G
CONTRACT_GRANT: NA14OAR0110139
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
Keywords
ethane
atmospheric hydrocarbon
emissions
tropospheric ozone
Bakken shale