Discussions of greenhouse gas assessment and control are dominated by atmospheric carbon dioxide, but atmospheric methane poses problems of comparable scale and greater complexity. Net positive sources of anthropogenic carbon dioxide—fossil fuel combustion and manufacturing processes—are the result of deliberate human activity and therefore readily quantified. However, dominant sources of anthropogenic methane are unintentional, widely dispersed, and in some cases intermittent. 

Robert L. Kleinberg (Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and Institute for Sustainable Energy at Boston University) will offer an overview of 1) emissions of methane into the atmosphere from energy infrastructure, 2) estimates of their magnitudes, and 3) the challenges in finding and eliminating them. He'll also take a close look at present (2016) and proposed (2018) Environmental Protection Agency rules regulating emissions of vented and fugitive methane from energy infrastructure, and what changes can be implemented to make these regulations more effective and efficient.

About the speaker: Robert L. Kleinberg is a senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and is a senior fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Boston University. From 1980 to 2018 he was employed by Schlumberger, attaining the rank of Schlumberger Fellow, one of about a dozen who hold this rank in a workforce of 100,000. Dr. Kleinberg’s work at Schlumberger focused on geophysical measurements and the characterization and delineation of unconventional fossil fuel resources, including shale gas and tight oil. His current work centers on energy technology and economics, and on environmental issues connected with oil and gas development. Dr. Kleinberg has authored more than 100 academic and professional papers, holds 39 U.S. patents, and is the inventor of several geophysical instruments that have been commercialized on a worldwide basis.  Dr. Kleinberg is the 2018-2019 American Physical Society Distinguished Lecturer on the Application of Physics, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Public parking is available in the Bryan Center Parking Deck, located on Science Drive between Duke Chapel and the Bryan Center. 

Duke University’s Energy Transition Speaker Series brings leading experts to campus to engage with students, faculty and the broader community on the pursuit of affordable, accessible, reliable and clean energy. The first round of speakers will focus on the oil and gas industry as it works through the technological, economic, and environmental dimensions of operating today and in the future. Sponsored by the Duke University Energy Initiative in partnership with the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.      

The Generator (Gross Hall 100C)
Date & Time
Friday, Apr 12, 2019 - 10:00 am to 11:15 am