tutor2u | Methane emissions from Russian coal mine

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Methane emissions from Russian coal mine

Joanne Parkinson

16th June 2022

Canadian business GHGSAT has reported that the biggest emission of methane from a single location is happening at the Raspadskaya coal mine in Kemerovo Oblast, Russia. The release of methane started on January 14th 2022 and the mine is still releasing an estimated 90 tonnes per hour.

The coal mine, which has a 220 mile-network of underground tunnels produces coking coal. A typical leak from a mine would usually equate to 1 tonne of methane per hour, so this release is concerning. Despite the emissions monitor attempting to reach out to the owners of the mine, no contact has yet been made.

Over a 100-year period, methane's global warming potential is 30 times that of carbon dioxide. In a major scientific report produced last year by the IPCC, it has been suggested that between 30-50% of atmospheric warming now being seen is directly related to methane emissions. The focus of the global community has always been on carbon dioxide, with historically 70% of atmospheric warming being attributed to that greenhouse gas. Methane has all but been ignored, until now, where scientists are warning of the possibility of a significant increase in methane emissions in future. In 2019, methane levels were measured at 2.5 times the amount measured in pre-industrial times.

For more on this story, read the BBC article.

Joanne Parkinson

An experienced, outstanding Geography teacher, GCSE examiner and Head of Humanities in a 11-18 school. I'm passionate about all geographical events and am a keen blogger.

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