There is more methane than we thought

The measuring plane was able to cover about 100 times more than previous land surveys. Flying over powerful springs and pipes in the New Mexico region of the plateau, the plane saw 1,985 methane plumes in 15 months.

In addition to finding higher levels of methane emissions than expected, the research also identified some mega-emitting sites. Only about 5% of the plumes seen by the aircraft are responsible for half of the measurements.

The information is being added to phones for the treatment of hard methane in oil and gas producers. At the time this data was collected, from 2018 to 2020, oil production was growing faster, and regulations in that area were much simpler than they are today. New Mexico passed a law banning the burning of natural gas. Federal policies need to be stricter to cut emissions to states that produce oil like Texas, said Jon Goldstein, chief executive officer at the Environmental Defense Fund.

In each case, new evidence shows how whole -scale measurements can shed light on the release of methane, which is not seen in large oil and gas vessels such as the Permian. Governments continue to release, and identifying problem areas can be a priority.

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