Scientists descend on New Mexico to solve methane plume mystery

Goodbye 2014

KRQE News 13

FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a scientific mystery: Why is there a giant plume of methane hovering over the Four Corners region?

Scientists from NASA and other top research agencies are spending the month here in New Mexico to try to figure it out.

Images picked up by a European satellite, published last year, show the nation’s largest plume of methane is hanging over the San Juan Basin. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.

“You infer there’s likely some local sources that contribute to the levels that were identified by the satellite, but it doesn’t tell you which sources are contributing and by how much,” said Gabrielle Patron, one of the investigators for the project and a scientist with Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES).

NASA says the likely sources for the methane are probably venting from oil and gas activities, active coal…

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