/Fracking boom could explain the puzzling rise in global methane levels

Fracking boom could explain the puzzling rise in global methane levels

Leaks from fracking plants could be responsible for a large portion of the recent rise in atmospheric methane

Sean Hannon/Getty

The dramatic rise in fracking for shale gas in the US and Canada has been blamed for the puzzling surge in concentrations of a powerful greenhouse gas over the past decade.

Methane is a shorter-lived but more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Levels of the gas in the atmosphere have been climbing since 2008, but researchers have been unsure why. Some studies in 2016 suggested the culprit could be ‘natural’ sources such as wetlands releasing more methane as …

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