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Russia's Runaway Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Elixir

Content Thief
Russia has been playing fast and loose with the truth about its methane (and other) greenhouse gas leaks, revising its own historical reporting and creating variable reporting standards to minimize the appearance of its massive negligence.

"[Methane] was escaping into the atmosphere at a breakneck rate of approximately 395 metric tons an hour."

Russia claims that it emitted 4 million metric tons of methane from the oil and gas sector in 2019, the most recent year reported. But six studies and scientific emissions data sets reviewed by The Post, using various methods, found much higher annual numbers in recent years, in some cases two to three times as large. The Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), an intergovernmental organization set up in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, puts the country’s 2020 figure at nearly 14 million tons, which would make Russia the world’s largest emitter of oil and gas-based methane.

• The number of methane plumes emitted from the aging Russian gas infrastructure rose by at least 40 percent last year, even though natural gas exports to Europe fell an estimated 14 percent due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Kayrros. A recent scientific study found that a significant portion of Russia’s estimated annual methane releases are due to a relatively small number of catastrophic events like the one on June 4, frequently dubbed “super-emitters.”

• Russia has repeatedly revised its methods for calculating emissions, not only shrinking current figures but also rolling back past estimates. The year 2010 shows how Russia’s calculations have fluctuated wildly. In a succession of annual reports to the United Nations, Russia has changed its estimate for oil and gas methane emissions for that year from 15.4 million tons, to 31.5 million tons, to 24.7 million tons, to 23.6 million tons, to 6.5 million tons, and — most recently — 5.1 million tons.
 

bigfield

the baby-eater
"Massive negligence", sure, but still pretty small on a global scale.

These variations in reporting are minor relative to Russia's total methane emissions, and are insignificant compared to the total methane emissions of the top 5 emitters. So I don't expect we'll see much in the way of diplomatic pressure in response to this.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
"Massive negligence", sure, but still pretty small on a global scale.

These variations in reporting are minor relative to Russia's total methane emissions, and are insignificant compared to the total methane emissions of the top 5 emitters. So I don't expect we'll see much in the way of diplomatic pressure in response to this.

Yeah, when it comes to greenhouse gases Russia is a small fish. Their economy is too bad.
 

bigfield

the baby-eater
in the long run, Russia might be the world leader in methane contribution to the atmosphere. They have the permafrost!
That might turn out to be the case, but I'm pretty sure that permafrost will melt whether it's in Russia's territory or not.

Russia is to blame for the pipeline leaks; the entire world is to blame for the melting permafrost. And by entire world, it's mostly China, USA, and the EU, followed by India and then Russia.
 

bigfield

the baby-eater
Russia is to blame for the pipeline leaks;
They don't say it's pipelines. Could be methane from oil wells which they neglect to collect and burn.
Forfucksake, the article you didn't read introduces the subject matter with a massive pipeline leak visible from space.

Overall most of the methane is from cows and land-fields.
One might even make the point that the variations in Russia's reported methane emissions from the oil and gas industry are minor relative to Russia's total methane emissions.
 

barbos

Contributor
Forfucksake, the article you didn't read introduces the subject matter with a massive pipeline leak visible from space
I did not pay attention, I was occupied with this new forum and how to operate it :)

Tried to read it, it's pay-walled. So i couldn't read it even if I tried.
In any case, did they look at Ukraine's pipelines. They are reportedly in even worse shape than russian ones.
 

bigfield

the baby-eater
Forfucksake, the article you didn't read introduces the subject matter with a massive pipeline leak visible from space
I did not pay attention, I was occupied with this new forum and how to operate it :)

Tried to read it, it's pay-walled. So i couldn't read it even if I tried.
In any case, did they look at Ukraine's pipelines. They are reportedly in even worse shape than russian ones.
:unsure: I was able to read it fine.

Russia's oil and gas industry emits about 30 times more methane than Ukraine's, probably more since Russia's estimates jump around more than a group of drunk teenagers listening to House of Pain in the 1990's. So who gives a shit about Ukraine's emissions?

Damn, original post is misleading. 395 ton/hour was a particular leak which they repaired, not the average, over Russia/time.

I found it quite obvious that the figure was from a single incident, because I actually clicked through to the article.
 

bigfield

the baby-eater

barbos

Contributor
So who gives a shit about Ukraine's emissions?
Ukraine is a transit country with gas pipelines which are older than Ukraine itself, and they don't maintain these pipelines very well.

Ukraine's fugitive emissions form downstream gas are tiny compared to Russia's.
US emits the same 16.1% (Russia 16.9%)
UAE 9.3%


 

Elixir

Content Thief
Yeah who cares about Russia’s irresponsible behavior, when the vast bulk of methane is trapped in clathrate solids under the sea bed? Those deposits can be de-stabilized by minor variations in ocean temps, and if released … not just runaway warming, but possibly mega-tsunamis and other delights.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
in the long run, Russia might be the world leader in methane contribution to the atmosphere. They have the permafrost!
That might turn out to be the case, but I'm pretty sure that permafrost will melt whether it's in Russia's territory or not.

Russia is to blame for the pipeline leaks; the entire world is to blame for the melting permafrost. And by entire world, it's mostly China, USA, and the EU, followed by India and then Russia.
It's mostly the US and EU. China and India are merely acting as subcontractors to those two, generating pollution of all kinds on their behalf in order to get around legal constraints and public opinion.

The massively polluting industries of the US 'rust belt' didn't disappear, they moved to places where labour is cheap and pollution is tolerated - largely China and India.

As the Chinese and Indians get wealthier and less tolerant of low wages and pollution, I fully expect the global Pointless Tat for Middle Class Consumers industry to relocate again, likely to Sub-Saharan Africa.

Until the world runs out of desperately poor nations to do the dirty jobs, attempts to improve this situation are likely futile. We need the developing world to get on with developing - because we're never going to stop middle class consumer demand for pointless tat.

The trick is to make it impossible for manufacturers to exploit poverty, and the history of manufacturing suggests that the only way to do that is to empower the poor - all of the poor, worldwide - and the only way to that is to lift them out of poverty.
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
As the Chinese and Indians get wealthier and less tolerant of low wages and pollution, I fully expect the global Pointless Tat for Middle Class Consumers industry to relocate again, likely to Sub-Saharan Africa.

Or space ...

Jeff Bezos on future of spaceflight: "We can move all heavy industry and all polluting industry off of Earth"
Yeah, all those poverty stricken people in space who are happy to work for tiny wages will inevitably help space to compete with Africa. :rolleyes2:
 

none

Banned
As the Chinese and Indians get wealthier and less tolerant of low wages and pollution, I fully expect the global Pointless Tat for Middle Class Consumers industry to relocate again, likely to Sub-Saharan Africa.

Or space ...

Jeff Bezos on future of spaceflight: "We can move all heavy industry and all polluting industry off of Earth"
Yeah, all those poverty stricken people in space who are happy to work for tiny wages will inevitably help space to compete with Africa. :rolleyes2:
shit in a bag for years...you'll change your mind...
 
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