Short Video Update: Hydraulic Fracturing and Climate Change

by Duane Nichols on April 11, 2013

Prof. Tony Ingraffea

The Intersection Between Hydraulic Fracturing and Climate Change

Produced by Chris Dennis for Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Healthy Energy, Published: April 7, 2013

See the Video: Created by Developing Pictures

Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, a Professor of Engineering at Cornell University, discusses methane leaks in natural gas systems and the cumulative climate impact of those leaks:

Dr. Ingraffea explains why conversion of coal plants to natural gas “is going in the wrong direction.” Recent research shows that to avoid rising temperatures that would lead to global climate disasters within the next 30 years, we must stop the extraction and use of oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing. Reducing methane and black carbon (produced by flaring) is more important in the near-term than reducing carbon dioxide.

And of course, it is critical that we switch away from fossil fuels all together as quickly as possible. Catastrophic sea level rise of 4 to 9 meters (13- 29 feet) are projected with a “business as usual” scenario. Already available technologies using wind, solar and geothermal could alter the future for ourselves, and certainly for our children and grandchildren.

NOTE: Dr. Anthony Ingraffea is the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering at Cornell University, and has taught structural mechanics, finite element methods, and fracture mechanics at Cornell for 37 years. Dr. Ingraffea’s research concentrates on computer simulation and physical testing of complex fracturing processes. He and his students have performed pioneering research in using interactive computer graphics in computational mechanics, and together they have authored more than 250 papers in these areas.

He has been a principal investigator on more than $35 million in R&D projects from the NSF, NASA, Nichols Research, AFOSR, FAA, Kodak, U. S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, U.S. Dept. of Transportation, IBM, Schlumberger, EXXON, the Gas Research Institute, Sandia National Laboratories, the Association of Iron and Steel Engineers, General Dynamics, Boeing, Caterpillar Tractor, and Northrop Grumman Aerospace.

For his research achievements he has won the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics “1994 Significant Paper Award” for one of the five most significant papers in the category of Computational/Analytical Applications, twice won the National Research Council/U.S. National Committee for Rock Mechanics Award for Research in Rock Mechanics (1978, 1991), and the George Irwin Medal form the American Society for Testing and Materials (2006).

He was named a Fellow of the International Congress on Fracture in 2009. He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the premier journal in his field, Engineering Fracture Mechanics.

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