From: Michael Reilly, Discovery News
Published July 27, 2009 08:50 AM

Methane Mystery: L.A. Emitting Twice as Much as Estimated

The greater Los Angeles area is emitting more than double the amount of methane than previously estimated, according to a new study.

A greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2), most man-made methane (CH4) emission comes from agriculture -- rice paddies, livestock, and biomass burning are all big contributors. As a result studies have largely ignored the methane coming from urban areas, and regulatory agencies have had to rely on guesswork to fill in the gaps.

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Debra Wunch of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and a team of researchers measured greenhouse gas emissions in the south coast air basin, a bowl of smoggy air that hangs over Los Angeles, its suburbs, and some 15 million inhabitants.

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