China’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rising At ‘Alarming Rate’

China’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rising At ‘Alarming Rate’

From the place you’d least expect….CNN

Chinese methane emissions are rising at an alarming rate despite recent government regulations aimed at curbing the climate-changing pollutant, a new report has revealed.

A study released in the journal Nature on Tuesday shows a steady growth in China’s methane emissions, primarily from the country’s massive coal mining sector, undermining Beijing’s claims to be leading the world on climate change action.

“Methane emissions in China appear to be increasing, business as usual. We were unable to detect any impact of regulations on the country’s methane emissions,” the report’s lead researcher Scot M. Miller told CNN.

China is among the world’s largest emitters of methane. While methane is less prevalent in the earth’s atmosphere than carbon dioxide, it traps “28 times more heat” according to the Global Carbon Project.

In 2010 the Chinese government enacted a series of new polices requiring methane from coal mining to be captured, or to be converted into carbon dioxide. But scientists found that the policies had failed to curb overall emissions.

China’s annual methane emissions increased by 50% for at least five years after government regulations were passed in 2010. The jump is equivalent to the total emissions of other large nations such as Russia and Brazil.

Full essay here

The paper:

China’s coal mine methane regulations have not curbed growing emissions


Anthropogenic methane emissions from China are likely greater than in any other country in the world. The largest fraction of China’s anthropogenic emissions is attributable to coal mining, but these emissions may be changing; China enacted a suite of regulations for coal mine methane (CMM) drainage and utilization that came into full effect in 2010. Here, we use methane observations from the GOSAT satellite to evaluate recent trends in total anthropogenic and natural emissions from Asia with a particular focus on China. We find that emissions from China rose by 1.1 ± 0.4 Tg CH4 yr−1 from 2010 to 2015, culminating in total anthropogenic and natural emissions of 61.5 ± 2.7 Tg CH4 in 2015. The observed trend is consistent with pre-2010 trends and is largely attributable to coal mining. These results indicate that China’s CMM regulations have had no discernible impact on the continued increase in Chinese methane emissions.

Some data:

Methane emissions estimates for China and India. a CH4 emissions estimates for China from this study, Bergamaschi et al.10, Thompson et al.12, UNFCCC35, Peng et al.6, the EDGAR v4.3 inventory4, and the US EPA9; and b for India from this study, Ganesan et al. 28, UNFCCC53, and US EPA9. We find a trend in emissions from both countries for 2010–2015, though the trend for India is uncertain. Note that uncertainty estimates for this study are 95% confidence intervals, and uncertainty bounds for Bergamaschi et al.10 reflect the range of different inversions that use different datasets (e.g., in situ, satellite). Estimates marked with an asterisk are for anthropogenic emissions only. Furthermore, the dashed green line represents the posterior emissions estimate after subtracting the wetland emissions model, biomass burning inventory (GFED), and termite emissions.


Map of CH4 emissions estimates. Total CH4 emissions (anthropogenic plus natural) estimated using GOSAT observations and the inverse model (2010–2015 mean). CH4 emissions from China are highest in provinces with large coal production and coal formations that contain high amounts of CH4 (e.g., Shanxi, Guizhou, and Anhui; refer to Supplementary Fig. 1). Note that the inverse modeling emissions estimate is highly uncertain for any individual grid box, but those uncertainties decrease at increasing spatial scales (Supplementary Fig. 2)

Superforest,Climate Change

via Watts Up With That?

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