Reconstructed and Projected U.S. Residential Natural Gas Consumption during 1896–2043

Steven A. Mauget Plant Stress and Water Conservation Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Lubbock, Texas

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Abstract

Using state-level monthly heating degree-day data, reconstructed per capita natural gas (NGr) consumption records for each state of the continental United States were calculated for 1895–2014 using linear regressions. The regressed monthly NGr values estimate the effects of twentieth- and early twenty-first-century climate variation on per capita natural gas usage, assuming a modern (1990–2013) consumption environment. Using these extended consumption records, the hypothetical effects of climate on past, current, and future natural gas (NG) use are estimated. By controlling for nonclimatic consumption effects, these extended reconstructions provide estimates of the sensitivity of NG consumption to historical climate variation, particularly long-term warming trends, occurring before the period of available consumption records. After detrending, the reconstructions are used to form improved estimates of interannual NG variation under current climate conditions. Given estimates of each state’s current consumption climatology and long-term trends in per capita consumption and current population trends, the net effect of warming and increasing population on future consumption is estimated. Significant long-term negative trends in per capita NG consumption are found in western and northeastern states and in Florida, while southeastern consumption effects reflect a multidecadal temperature cycle. Climate-related consumption effects found here are generally consistent with previous studies, with long-term trend effects limited to less than 12% and multidecadal regime effects limited to less than 9%. Given the stronger positive effects of increasing population on total state natural gas consumption, reduced per capita use associated with warming trends has a weak moderating effect on estimates of projected total consumption in 2043.

For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Steven A. Mauget, steven.mauget@ars.usda.gov

Abstract

Using state-level monthly heating degree-day data, reconstructed per capita natural gas (NGr) consumption records for each state of the continental United States were calculated for 1895–2014 using linear regressions. The regressed monthly NGr values estimate the effects of twentieth- and early twenty-first-century climate variation on per capita natural gas usage, assuming a modern (1990–2013) consumption environment. Using these extended consumption records, the hypothetical effects of climate on past, current, and future natural gas (NG) use are estimated. By controlling for nonclimatic consumption effects, these extended reconstructions provide estimates of the sensitivity of NG consumption to historical climate variation, particularly long-term warming trends, occurring before the period of available consumption records. After detrending, the reconstructions are used to form improved estimates of interannual NG variation under current climate conditions. Given estimates of each state’s current consumption climatology and long-term trends in per capita consumption and current population trends, the net effect of warming and increasing population on future consumption is estimated. Significant long-term negative trends in per capita NG consumption are found in western and northeastern states and in Florida, while southeastern consumption effects reflect a multidecadal temperature cycle. Climate-related consumption effects found here are generally consistent with previous studies, with long-term trend effects limited to less than 12% and multidecadal regime effects limited to less than 9%. Given the stronger positive effects of increasing population on total state natural gas consumption, reduced per capita use associated with warming trends has a weak moderating effect on estimates of projected total consumption in 2043.

For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Steven A. Mauget, steven.mauget@ars.usda.gov
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