Study Says U.S. Emitting More Methane Than Thought

by William White | November 26, 2013 3:01 pm

A study claims that the U.S. is emitting more methane[1] than what the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has reported.


According to the study, the United States emitted 49 million tons of methane into the air in 2008. This is more than the 32 million tons of methane that the EPA had estimated. This could mean that methane is a larger contributor to global warming than scientist previously thought. Methane doesn’t stay in the air as long as carbon dioxide does, but it is 21 times better at snaring heat than carbon dioxide, reports Yahoo.

The study used measurements from almost 13,000 airplanes and tall buildings to assemble its data. It found that one-fourth of the methane emissions in the United States are coming from three states in particular: Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. The information for the study was collected in 2008 and researchers have yet to examine their data from 2012, Yahoo notes.

“These are pretty substantial numbers we’re dealing with, and an important part of greenhouse gas emissions,” Scot M. Miller, one of the study’s authors, told The New York Times[3]. “Our study shows that there could be large greenhouse gas emissions in places in the country where we may not necessarily have accounted for them.”

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