Australian scientist warns of coal seam gas risk

16:19, August 10, 2010      

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A Climate Institute scientist warned on Tuesday the coal seam gas (CSG) industry being developed in the Australian state of Queensland could create huge amounts of the potent greenhouse gas methane.

"It's so frustrating when I hear that Queensland is opening up great swathes of country, of productive land in particular, to coal seam gas production," said Corey Watts, regional projects manager with the Climate Institute.

"With thousands of potentially unregulated, unmonitored bores coming on-line in the next few years, we could see a massive spike in Queensland's methane emissions."

Watts told a forum about the future of Australia's grazing industries in Brisbane that "molecule for molecule, methane is many times more potent a greenhouse pollutant than carbon dioxide".

In the past 160 years methane levels had grown by 150 percent and continue to do so.

"We are now at levels of methane in the atmosphere that haven't been around for 600,000 years," Watts said.

"Methane is thought to have contributed to about a third of the (global) warming."

Source: Xinhua


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