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Methane Mystery: L.A. Emitting Twice as Much as Estimated
Discovery News via ENN ^ | July 27, 2009 08:50 AM | Michael Reilly, Discovery News

Posted on 07/29/2009 3:40:27 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

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.

According to the latest estimate by the California Air Resources Board, human activity in the basin should only emit about 260,000 tons of methane each year. But after taking readings from August 2007 through June 2008, the team found that the annual rate was much higher: some 600,000 tons.

Much of the area's electricity comes from burning natural gas, which is almost entirely made up of methane. Approximately 10.5 million tons of natural gas was shipped into the south coast air basin in 2006; if two to three percent of that is leaking into the atmosphere, it could account for a large part of the discrepancy.

"If it's coming from a few potent leaks, one could hope to put a plug in it," Paul Wennberg also of California Institute of Technology, and a co-author on the study due to be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters said. "This stuff is valuable. If you can get enough of it, you want to burn it."

The excess gas could also be trickling out of cars' exhaust pipes, landfills or sewage treatment plants.

Worldwide, the human activity and natural processes like ocean methane seeps and wetlands decomposition combine to emit approximately 582 million tons of methane each year. If cities around the world have similar methane emission patterns as Los Angeles, the team estimates urban areas could account for as much as 10-15 percent of that total.

"The hope is that the processes operating in California may be happening in other cities around the world," Amy Townsend-Small of the University of California, Irvine said. "If so, this model will be applicable in cities around the world."

Determining how much methane cities give off -- and the sources responsible -- are crucial steps toward controlling emissions in the future. Ultimately, getting a handle on methane emissions could go a long way toward limiting the effects of global warming.


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: airquality; environment; losangeles; methane; michaelmoore; science
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Given the topic, I had to post this. There are so many interesting and creative comments that I am justing waiting to read. I can't imagine in what direction this one will go.
1 posted on 07/29/2009 3:40:27 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
We know nothing about global warming. Absolutely nothing.

So -- the smart thing to do is obviously to panic, and cripple our entire industrialized society.

2 posted on 07/29/2009 3:43:42 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

burritos


3 posted on 07/29/2009 3:44:11 AM PDT by bill1952 (Choice is an illusion created between those with power - and those without)
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To: ClearCase_guy
So -- the smart thing to do is obviously to panic, and cripple our entire industrialized society.

I am not sure if people stopped eating refried beans it would "cripple" industrialized society. It might increase the population as a result of some men suddenly being less repulsive to the opposite sex.

4 posted on 07/29/2009 3:46:13 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (Using profanity gives people who don't want information from you an excuse not to listen.)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit; OKSooner; honolulugal; Killing Time; Beowulf; Mr. Peabody; RW_Whacko; ...
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

FReepmail me to get on or off

Ping me if you find one I've missed.


Get the popcorn... this should be a riot...
5 posted on 07/29/2009 3:47:20 AM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: bill1952

“burritos”

No doubt about it.


6 posted on 07/29/2009 3:47:49 AM PDT by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/07/23/methane-los-angeles.html


7 posted on 07/29/2009 3:48:50 AM PDT by Misterioso
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To: bill1952

Chalupas...extra frijoles...


8 posted on 07/29/2009 3:48:55 AM PDT by stevie_d_64
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
I know the fun aspects of flatulence in the environment, but this article is a precursor for either how stupid the researchers really are or their ultimate agenda to cripple us any way they can in the name of Deep Ecology.

Or I could be farting in the wind.

9 posted on 07/29/2009 3:49:03 AM PDT by Thebaddog (Obama really did believe that stuff he was saying during the campaign)
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To: Thebaddog

As long as you are up-wind.


10 posted on 07/29/2009 3:50:24 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (Using profanity gives people who don't want information from you an excuse not to listen.)
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To: stevie_d_64

11 posted on 07/29/2009 3:52:08 AM PDT by Rebelbase (Obama--POtuS.)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
A greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2), most man-made methane (CH4) ...

25 times more powerful in what regard? Calories of energy? Electrical charge? What a ridiculous statement.

12 posted on 07/29/2009 3:53:17 AM PDT by 6SJ7 (atlasShruggedInd: ON)
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To: Rebelbase

Man, now I’m hungry...Thanks...Its only 6:00am, and I’ll be gassy alllllll day now...


13 posted on 07/29/2009 3:57:28 AM PDT by stevie_d_64
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To: 6SJ7

It is referring to the global warming potential. In other words emitting 1 ton of Methane warms the planet in a manner equivalent to 25 tons of CO2.

Remember, the fact that CO2 warms the planet is clearly established. The fact that methane does so at a rate 25 times as powerfully is also clearly established. The number of scientists who dispute this is Zero. It is not climate science, but rather basic chemistry.

The disputed aspect of climate change is not the chemistry, but rather whether the gasses emitted by humans has any but the most marginal affect on the overall temperature of the planet.

Denying the basic science behind the chemistry is akin to claiming the earth is flat.


14 posted on 07/29/2009 3:57:56 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (Using profanity gives people who don't want information from you an excuse not to listen.)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Another Chicken Little alarmist. Any uneducated pontifications on climate should be ignored instead of refuted. There is no end to them.


15 posted on 07/29/2009 3:57:57 AM PDT by Misterioso
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To: ought-six
When the subject turns to issues like this once a year I like to post the following. It's a bit long but well worth the read......

If you can read this whole story without tears of laughter running down your
face, you need to get a sense of humor!

For those of you who have lived in Texas, you know how true this is. They
actually have a Chili Cook-off about the time the Rodeo comes to town. It
takes up a major portion of the parking lot at the Astrodome. The notes are
from an inexperienced Chili taster named Frank, who was visiting Texas from
the East Coast.

Frank: “Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili
cook-off. The Judge #3 called in sick at the last moment and I happened to
be standing there at the judge's table asking for directions to the Budweiser
truck, when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Native
Texans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy and, besides, they told me
I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted.”

Here are the scorecards from the event:

Chili # 1: Mike's Maniac Mobster Monster Chili

Judge # 1 — A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.
Judge # 2 — Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.
Judge # 3 — (Frank) Holy shit, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove
dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I
hope that's the worst one. These Texans are crazy.

Chili # 2: Arthur's Afterburner Chili

Judge # 1 — Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.
Judge # 2 — Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
Judge # 3 — Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm
supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to
give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw
the look on my face.

Chili # 3: Fred's Famous Burn Down the Barn Chili

Judge # 1 — Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick. Needs more beans.
Judge # 2 — A bean less chili, a bit salty, good use of peppers.
Judge # 3 — Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I
have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer
before I ignite. The Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in
the front part of my chest. I'm getting shit-faced from all of the beer.

Chili # 4: Bubba’s Black Magic

Judge # 1 — Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
Judge # 2 — Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or
other mild foods, not much of a chili.
Judge # 3 — I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to
taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the barmaid, was
standing behind me with fresh refills. That 300-lb. woman is starting to look
HOT . . . just like this nuclear waste I'm
eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?

Chili # 5: Linda's Legal Lip Remover

Judge # 1 — Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding
considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge # 2 — Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the
cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
Judge # 3 — My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can
no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed
paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had
given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer
directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It
really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw
those rednecks!

Chili # 6: Vera's Very Vegetarian Variety

Judge # 1 — Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices
and peppers.
Judge # 2 — The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic.
Superb.
Judge #3— I shit myself when I farted and I'm worried it will eat through
the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except Sally. She must be
kinkier than I thought. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my ass
with a snow cone.

Chili # 7: Susan's Screaming Sensation Chili

Judge # 1 — A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
Judge # 2 — Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili
peppers at the last moment. I should take note that I am worried about Judge
#3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
Judge # 3 — You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I
wouldn't feel a thing. I've lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like
it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid
unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava like poop to match my
shirt. At least during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me. I've
decided to stop breathing, it's too painful. Screw it; I'm not getting any
oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in
my stomach.

Chili # 8: Tommy's Toe-Nail Curling Chili

Judge # 1 — The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold but
spicy enough to declare its existence.
Judge # 2 — This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor
hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge # 3 passed out, fell
over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going
to make it. Poor dude, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot chili?

16 posted on 07/29/2009 4:00:06 AM PDT by Recon Dad ( MARSOC DAD)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Brea_Tar_Pits#Source_of_methane_discovered

La Brea Tar Pits
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The La Brea Tar Pits (or Rancho La Brea Tar Pits) are a famous cluster of tar pits located in Hancock Park in the urban heart of Los Angeles, California, United States.

[snip]

Source of methane discovered

Methane gas also seeps up, causing bubbles that make the asphalt appear to boil. Asphalt and methane also appear under surrounding buildings, requiring special operations to remove, lest it weaken the buildings’ foundations. In 2007, researchers from UC Riverside discovered that the bubbles are caused by hardy forms of bacteria embedded in the natural asphalt. The bacteria are eating away at the petroleum and releasing methane. Of the bacteria sampled so far, about 200 to 300 are previously unknown species.[2]


17 posted on 07/29/2009 4:01:24 AM PDT by angkor
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

In a city which hosts the La Brea Tar Pits they can’t figure out where methane is coming from? Look down, boys and girls. It’s coming from beneath your feet.


18 posted on 07/29/2009 4:02:29 AM PDT by Paine in the Neck (Nepolean fries the idea powder)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Undocumented illegal aliens and their dietary habits.


19 posted on 07/29/2009 4:04:08 AM PDT by fredhead (Liberals think globally, reason rectally, act idiotically.)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
A well known fact. Certain bacteria, feasting on BS, emit methane. I wonder what the Wash. DC environment looks like?
20 posted on 07/29/2009 4:09:25 AM PDT by cannonball
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

More Taxes!!!


21 posted on 07/29/2009 4:15:33 AM PDT by Dallas59 ("You know the one with the big ears? He might be yours, but he ain't my president.")
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Methane comes from s**t. LA is a s**t hole. Go figure.


22 posted on 07/29/2009 4:16:00 AM PDT by Lion Den Dan
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Frijoles?


23 posted on 07/29/2009 4:16:31 AM PDT by Kozak (USA 7/4/1776 to 1/20/2009 Reqiescat in Pace)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

These global warmists could not find their fannys with both hands. That is why they can’t measure methane correctly.


24 posted on 07/29/2009 4:17:55 AM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
...and regulatory agencies have had to rely on guesswork to fill in the gaps.

Anyone who believes that this is the only place where guesswork substitutes for valid science raise your rectum and release!

25 posted on 07/29/2009 4:20:08 AM PDT by Tonytitan
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Duh.

The LA basin is a huge oil and gas field, and methane gas seepage has been a known problem for many decades. J Paul Getty had many oil wells there, and made millions from them.

http://articles.latimes.com/1999/jul/30/local/me-61056

The Methane Down Below

By EDWARD J. BOYER, TIMES STAFF WRITERS and JANET WILSON, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
July 30, 1999

One witness thought it was “raining fire.” The earth was belching flames through cracks in the pavement, tongues of fire marching in a steady progression across a shopping center parking lot on 3rd Street near Fairfax Avenue in West Los Angeles.

The methane gas explosion that ripped through a Ross Dress for Less store in March 1985 left 24 people injured and forced the closure of stores in the center for several days.

[snip]

The region is dotted with working and abandoned oil wells from Santa Clarita in the north to Newport Beach in the south. And where there are oil wells, there is methane.

Does that mean neighborhoods and commercial developments built on old oil fields face the same risks that have caused so much concern at Belmont?

There is certainly risk whenever explosive gases are present, experts say, but building codes and state agencies have been able to keep that risk at manageable levels for the most part.

When builders follow proper procedures to vent methane, the risk of accidental explosions is virtually eliminated, experts say.

Having pumping oil wells on a site is better than having improperly abandoned wells because working wells vent methane harmlessly into the air, said Richard Baker, district deputy of the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources.


26 posted on 07/29/2009 4:20:53 AM PDT by angkor
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

“livestock...are all big contributors.”

Check for chickens and goats in the backyards of illegals.


27 posted on 07/29/2009 4:21:45 AM PDT by sergeantdave (obuma is the anti-Lincoln, trying to re-establish slavery)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Anyone have that old movie Volcano with Ann Heche and Tommy Whats-his-name?


28 posted on 07/29/2009 4:22:38 AM PDT by Scotswife
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To: 6SJ7

“25 times more powerful in what regard? Calories of energy? Electrical charge? What a ridiculous statement.”

This is why I love FReepers.
Letting me know what questions I should be asking but don’t have a clue to ask.


29 posted on 07/29/2009 4:24:06 AM PDT by Scotswife
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

"More beans, Mr. Taggart?"

30 posted on 07/29/2009 4:31:05 AM PDT by Charles Martel ("Endeavor to persevere...")
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To: stevie_d_64
Man, now I’m hungry...Thanks...Its only 6:00am, and I’ll be gassy alllllll day now...

They say it is better to "give than receive". So just stay out of the elevator.

31 posted on 07/29/2009 4:35:08 AM PDT by voicereason (I Don't Need SEX...I Get Screwed By Democrats Everyday!!!)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Demons put this off I am sure. This is why we need all of the liberals in one place, they will kill us with their mere flatulance.


32 posted on 07/29/2009 4:41:19 AM PDT by Dubya-M-DeesWent2SyriaStupid! (Obama, the first ever 3 in a half year, lame duck TOTUS)
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To: 6SJ7

“25 times more powerful in what regard? Calories of energy? Electrical charge? What a ridiculous statement.”

Yeah, I’m not getting that statement either.

I’m guessing that the guy is simply making stuff up.


33 posted on 07/29/2009 4:50:55 AM PDT by incredulous joe ("No road is too long with good company" - Turkish Proverb)
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To: Rebelbase

What mean wash hands?


34 posted on 07/29/2009 4:51:06 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
Remember, the fact that CO2 warms the planet is clearly established.

Not hardly. An "association" between high CO2 levels and warmer temperatures has been noted at times. However, close examination reveals that the warming often preceeds the CO2 rise; it is quite possible that the warmiing (from sun activity, etc) causes the CO2 rise; perhaps from deceased solubility in ocean waters. Regardless, it is not an established fact that CO2 causes warming.
35 posted on 07/29/2009 4:56:16 AM PDT by armydoc
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
I find this very interesting and very funny at the same time. The South Coast air basin is THE MOST heavily regulated air “quality” area in the world. The jacka$$es in the CARB and the South Coast Air boards have tightened regulations over they years to the point where the emissions are minimal but they still do not have a clue about where 400,000 tons of evil methane are coming from. that is some funny $hit.
36 posted on 07/29/2009 4:56:36 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Nemo me impune lacessit)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
Yup from the same bunch of “scientists” who could never explain how all the evil fluorocarbons knew to migrate to the South Pole. Please.
37 posted on 07/29/2009 4:59:11 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Nemo me impune lacessit)
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To: armydoc
Not hardly. An "association" between high CO2 levels and warmer temperatures has been noted at times. However, close examination reveals that the warming often preceeds the CO2 rise; it is quite possible that the warmiing (from sun activity, etc) causes the CO2 rise; perhaps from deceased solubility in ocean waters. Regardless, it is not an established fact that CO2 causes warming.

Wrong. CO2 does cause some warming due to its chemical properties. If that warming is large enough to affect the overall planetary climate is what is in question. Moreover, a planet on which there is more CO2 might also generate other feedback loops that cause cooling.

It is the climate science which is unsure, as I wrote, the chemistry of applying UV radiation to a CO2 molecule is clear and verifiable.

38 posted on 07/29/2009 4:59:21 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (Using profanity gives people who don't want information from you an excuse not to listen.)
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To: cannonball

Even bacteria have standards. That would be asking to much to deal with pols


39 posted on 07/29/2009 4:59:22 AM PDT by Ratman83
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To: armydoc

Although I must admit I could have used language that made my exact premise clearer.


40 posted on 07/29/2009 4:59:54 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (Using profanity gives people who don't want information from you an excuse not to listen.)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
The disputed aspect of climate change is not the chemistry, but rather whether the gasses emitted by humans has any but the most marginal affect on the overall temperature of the planet.

CRAP!

First of all, I believe the word is gases.

What's in dispute? There has been nothing but cooling in this century regardless of CO2 levels. Thousands of summertime cool temperatures have been broken this year alone, not to mention snow in Israel and Baghdad and record cold temperatures killing wildlife in Tibet in recent winters, record ice formation in the Southern Hemisphere.

The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (around .04%) amounts to a fart in a hurricane, and is an insignificant level regarding temperature retention.

Nitrogen and Oxygen make up 99% of the content of the atmosphere and thank God they are there acting as insulation (greenhouse gases) to keep us from alternately freezing to death at night and frying during the daytime.

99%...why aren't the Chicken Little morons screaming about the dangerous levels of Nitrogen?... Or the serious toxic tsunami of real pollution (visible from space) coming out of China and India?

The answer: Because it's not the US.

41 posted on 07/29/2009 5:00:56 AM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (RATs...nothing more than Bald Haired Hippies!)
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To: ROCKLOBSTER

Yes, but if you apply UV radiation to these gasses they warm.

That is chemistry. The climate sciene is disputed.

Perhaps you are also a flat earther and a creationist. Thus, there will be no point in having a conversation about what constitutes science.


42 posted on 07/29/2009 5:04:04 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (Using profanity gives people who don't want information from you an excuse not to listen.)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Pinto Beans


43 posted on 07/29/2009 5:11:36 AM PDT by BlueLancer (I'm getting a fine tootsy-frootsying right here...)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

So, all those artsy-fartsy people in the greater LA area aren’t nearly so artsy after all.


44 posted on 07/29/2009 5:15:08 AM PDT by savedbygrace (You are only leading if someone follows. Otherwise, you just wandered off... [Smokin' Joe])
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
Perhaps you are also a flat earther and a creationist.

Yeah, and perhaps I'm not. Perhaps you are an Algor religionist who worships at the altar of flawed computer models with fraudulent data, not reality based science.

Thus, there will be no point in having a conversation about what constitutes science.

I believe CO2 retains heat...in significant amounts, like 2, 5 or 10%

But you can't explain how global temperatures are declining as CO2 levels allegedly increase, can you.

45 posted on 07/29/2009 5:17:52 AM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (RATs...nothing more than Bald Haired Hippies!)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

You are say the effect (gases warming) is the cause. That is wrong the cause is the UV radiation not the gases.


46 posted on 07/29/2009 5:18:38 AM PDT by Ratman83
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To: Ratman83

A blanket in your bed doesn’t make you warm either. It is your body heat. But without that blanket, your bodyheat would escape. Thus, I dont understand your point.


47 posted on 07/29/2009 5:30:08 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (Using profanity gives people who don't want information from you an excuse not to listen.)
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To: Recon Dad

This is hilarious, where did you get it? I am trying to copy it to send to friends in Canada but can’t get it to copy.


48 posted on 07/29/2009 5:32:25 AM PDT by squarebarb
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
Swamp Gas??? You boomers out there might recall that UFOs of the '60s were blamed on 'swamp gas', the release of methane in swamps which supposedly would glow in the dark.

It is similar to the methane that is also found on Jupiter's moons. It all is obviously caused by humans and can only be reduced by more government regulations..

49 posted on 07/29/2009 5:33:05 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Global Warming Theory is extremely robust with respect to data. All observations confirm it)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit; Genesis defender; proud_yank; grey_whiskers; FrPR; enough_idiocy; ...
 


Beam me to Planet Gore !

50 posted on 07/29/2009 5:33:14 AM PDT by steelyourfaith ("The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money" - Lady Thatcher)
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