Keynote – David Allen

David Allen

Improving Characterization of Anthropogenic Methane Emissions in the United States: Summary of a Report from the US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM)

Dr. David Allen – Gertz Regents Professor of Chemical Engineering, & Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Resources, the University of Texas at Austin.

Abstract

Understanding, quantifying, and tracking atmospheric methane and emissions is essential for addressing concerns and informing decisions that affect the climate, economy, and human health and safety. Atmospheric methane is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) that contributes to global warming. While carbon dioxide is by far the dominant cause of the rise in global average temperatures, methane also plays a significant role because it absorbs more energy per unit mass than carbon dioxide does, giving it a disproportionately large effect on global radiative forcing. In addition to contributing to climate change, methane also affects human health as a precursor to ozone pollution in the lower atmosphere. A Committee of the US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) reviewed the current understanding of methane emissions from anthropogenic sources. The report, “Improving Characterization of Anthropogenic Methane Emissions in the United States” summarizes the current state of understanding of methane emissions sources and the measurement approaches and evaluates opportunities for methodological and inventory development improvements. This report will inform future research agendas of various U.S. agencies, including NOAA, the EPA, the DOE, NASA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Biography

Dr. David Allen is the Gertz Regents Professor of Chemical Engineering, and the Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Resources, at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of seven books and over 200 papers. His recent work has focused primarily on air quality, and the engineering of sustainable systems. Dr. Allen has been a lead investigator for multiple air quality measurement studies, which have had a substantial impact on the direction of air quality policies. Over the past three years, with support from Environmental Defense Fund and a group of natural gas producers, he has been leading a team measuring methane emissions from natural gas production sites. He has served on a variety of governmental advisory panels and from 2012-2015 chaired the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board. He has won multiple awards for his research and teaching awards at the University of Texas and UCLA.

Dr. Allen received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering, with distinction, from Cornell University in 1979. His M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering were awarded by the California Institute of Technology in 1981 and 1983. He has held visiting faculty appointments at the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the Department of Energy.