Skip to comments.Methane Mystery: L.A. Emitting Twice as Much as Estimated
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.
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.
Ping me if you find one I've missed.
No doubt about it.
Or I could be farting in the wind.
As long as you are up-wind.
25 times more powerful in what regard? Calories of energy? Electrical charge? What a ridiculous statement.
Man, now I’m hungry...Thanks...Its only 6:00am, and I’ll be gassy alllllll day now...
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.
Another Chicken Little alarmist. Any uneducated pontifications on climate should be ignored instead of refuted. There is no end to them.
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
Chili # 6: Vera's Very Vegetarian Variety
Judge # 1 — Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices
Judge # 2 — The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
Undocumented illegal aliens and their dietary habits.