Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Washington Post covers Professor Kort’s research on air quality

Posted: April 29, 2016

Washington Post covers Professor Kort’s research on air quality Assistant Professor Eric Kort

Assistant Professor Eric Kort is the lead author of a new study that shows that the Bakken Shale formation, a region of oil production in North Dakota and Montana, accounts for around 2 percent of the world’s ethane output.

Ethane is a carbon compound that can damage air quality and contribute to climate change. Kort’s study, which appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, indicates that the Bakken Shale formation may be partly responsible for reversing a decades-long decline in global ethane emissions.

“We were interested in understanding the atmospheric impacts of some of these oil and gas fields in the U.S. — particularly oil and gas fields that had a lot of expansion of activities in the last decade,” Kort told the Washington Post.

“We found that in order to produce the signals we saw on the plane, it would require emissions in the Bakken to be very large for ethane … equivalent to 2 percent of global emissions, which is a very big number for one small region in the U.S.,” Kort said.

To read the full article, please visit This news has also been covered by Michigan Radio and Michigan News.

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