Methane four corners

What is the source of mysterious methane emissions at Four Corners?

This is a joint release of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder), NOAANASA and the University of Michigan (U-M).

A team of scientific investigators is now in the Four Corners region of the U.S. Southwest, aiming to uncover reasons for a mysterious methane hotspot detected from space by a European satellite. The joint project is working to solve the mystery from the air, on the ground, and with mobile laboratories.

“If we can verify the methane emissions found by the satellite, and identify the various sources, then decision makers will have critical information for any actions they are considering, says Gabrielle Pétron, a scientist from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder, working in NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) and one of the mission’s investigators. Part of President Obama’s recent Climate Action Plan calls for reductions in U.S. methane emissions. NOAA is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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