This one U.S. hotspot produces the largest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane


taco bell headquarters


My bet’s on a massive cattle farm. Methane seeps out of every bovine orifice.

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It’s the oil fields. The other big hotspot in California is the oil fields that are west of Bakersfield. That big hot spot at the four corners is a massive unending oil field around a few major reservations. Beautiful area… lots of oil.


Unlikely - this is not really prime cattle country, I’d expect to see bigger concentrations in the feedlots near Greely, CO, and in KS and TX.

I wonder if it’s a natural source because the geology of that area is quite complex. Fascinating.

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You can see the wells quite easily.

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It’s kinda hard to tell, but it’s right near the region containing the Grand Canyon, the Vermillion Cliffs national monument, and the Kaibab Reservation.

Where the heck is the rest of the map? Why only show us North America?

It looks close to here.

Waterflow lies between two coal-fired power plants and southwest of a large coal mine.[8][9] The area also has many oil wells.

That’s coming from the Lewis and Mancos Shale formation. Heavy oil and natural gas production there.


For some reason the Boing Boing summary doesn’t mention the apparent cause of the high methane emissions concentrated in this area. The answer, from the linked article: leaks in natural gas production and processing equipment in New Mexico’s San Juan Basin.




Are there other important places? We didn’t go over that in high school.


There be dragons.


I’m wondering if that was edited in after the original post. Did Not RTFA is a common problem, but there usually aren’t quite so many people wildly speculating about a question that was answered in the second paragraph.

But speculating is most of the fun!

I don’t remember the cause being mentioned originally, but I have been known to skip entire paragraphs before.

I read it 33m after @slauson did. So if edited, it took a while.

A global view helps put things into perspective.

Good link for tons of other sat images of methane concentration:

Not all American methane producers, eh?