Natural Gas: Can It Really Help Reduce Global Warming?

Gaskessel (Natural Gas Storage - Vreative Commons/de:User:Igelball)

Credit: Igelball / CC BY-SA 3.0

After the United States marked the lowest level of Carbon-dioxide emissions this winter, it is believed that natural gas would help reduce global warming while acting as an alternative to coal for the production of electricity.

The experts agree that natural gas burns more cleanly than coal, but they also add that replacing coal in all the world’s coal power plants by natural gas would reduce the global warming merely by about 20 percent only. The reason behind this firm conclusion is that the percentage of carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere till now is so large that even if the whole world switches to natural gas, it would not help stop temperatures from rising for the next 100 years at least!

In short, a total shift from coal to natural gas would help reduce the global warming merely by 20 percent and that too over 100 years! But if the world starts using renewable or nuclear energy, it would slash the warming effect by about three quarters.

Also, in the opinions of some environmentalists, ‘franking’, the process of extracting natural gas also releases large amounts of methane into atmosphere which also heats the planet!

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