AER scientists involved in greenhouse gas (GHG) research, Janusz Eluszkiewicz and Thomas Nehrkorn, are co-authors of a Harvard-led study "Anthropogenic emissions of methane in the United States" just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and receiving considerable attention worldwide for its conclusion that methane emissions in the U.S. are significantly greater than previous estimates.
AER's contribution to this research was the development of the atmospheric transport simulations that underlie the study. These simulations utilize the Stochastic Time Inverted Lagrangian Transport (STILT) model driven by customized meteorological fields from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale model. The coupled WRF-STILT model is the linchpin of multiple GHG-related efforts worldwide and has been developed at AER over the past decade with support from NSF, NASA, NOAA, the intelligence community, and private industry. Among on-going applications of WRF-STILT are urban methane leaks, monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) of CO2 emissions in the Boston-DC corridor, and GHG sources in the Arctic.
Besides Janusz and Thomas, scientists contributing to GHG research at AER include John Henderson, Marikate Ellis Mountain, Jennifer Hegarty and Scott Zaccheo.
Additional information about this study can be viewed in many news sources including:
- Methane Emissions in U.S. Probably Top Estimates: Study, by Bloomberg.
- U.S. EPA has greatly underestimated emissions from methane - report, by Reuters.
- U.S. methane emissions exceed government estimates. Collaborative study indicates fossil fuel extraction, animal husbandry major contributors. Harvard Gazette (Harvard University).
- Methane Emissions Vastly Surpass Previous Estimates, Carnegie Institution for Science press release.