3 thoughts on “Study: California leak was top methane release in US history”

  1. Scientists said it had spewed 107,000 tons of methane — a potent global warming gas — making it the largest known leak of its kind in the U.S.

    Also, it is second only to the release in Moss Bluff, Texas, in 2004.

    So it’s taking up the top two spots?

  2. Natural gas is mostly methane with an odorant added added so customers know there is a leak.
    The odorant makes people sick eventually. The high concentration of methane is deadly if not avoided. Methane is odorless.
    This leak was from a storage facility that had the odorant already added. The gas company does not pump gas to the storage facility unless the odorant is added. The odorant is added shortly after the gas leaves the gas well.

  3. 107,000 tons of methane is 0.000097 metric Gt, which is 0.00184% of the estimated 5.284 Gt of methane in the Earth’s atmosphere.

    But even if enough methane had been released to have a significant effect, it would be short-lived. The effect of a spike in methane levels would be very transient, because even if you don’t burn it, methane in the atmosphere oxidizes with a half-life of only about 6 to 8 years, into minute amounts of CO2 and water:
    CH4 + 2·O2 → CO2 + 2·H2O

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