AIR POLLUTION

Too much of a gas

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  02 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6452, pp. 459
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6452.459-a

Methane emissions from many large U.S. cities (like New York, shown here) are much larger than realized.

PHOTO: MICHAEL BUSBY/SHUTTERSTOCK

Atmospheric methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and an important component of tropospheric ozone production. It is essential to understand its emissions in order to estimate its impact on climate and air quality and to formulate strategies to control it. Plant et al. report aircraft observations of six major cities on the East Coast of the United States, which show that their methane emissions are about twice as large as those reported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They determine that these emissions are predominantly due to losses associated with natural gas transmission and distribution, or from currently unknown sources.

Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1029/2019GL082635 (2019).

Navigate This Article