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.
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.