Author: John Schwartz
Date: March 31, 2015
Title: Gas Utilities Reduce leaks of Methane, Study Finds
Source: NY TIMES
In the article, “Gas Utilities Reduce leaks of Methane, Study Finds”, John Schwartz talks about how utilities are making improvements in decreasing leaks from their natural gas distribution network. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and has 85 times the effect of carbon dioxide on climate change over a 20-year period. A new study from Washington State University has found, that the regulators and industries can do more to improve this situation than they have been doing. The study includes the direct measurements of 13 gas distribution centers around the country, involving 230 underground pipeline leaks and 229 metering and regulating facilities. The report found that the amount of methane being released is 36% to 70% less than estimates published in 2011 by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The scientists proposed that the reduction was mainly a result of equipment upgrades, including replacement of leaky old cast-iron or unprotected steel pipe. The Obama administration has encouraged the use of natural gas as a power source, because it produces less carbon dioxide than other methods.
One of the most important topics I learned in this course was the Scientific Method. This article is clearly talking about studies and investigations. All these investigations use the scientific method to arrive at a result and a conclusion. Researches have to formulate a hypothesis, test the hypothesis, analyze the data and communicate the results. In this article this method is clearly presented. Also, in this course, we learned the importance of biodiversity and how important it is to take care of our environment. Thanks to biodiversity we have medicine, food, and innovation. Biodiversity increases ecosystem productivity where each species play an important role.