Where Do California's Greenhouse Gases Come From?

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December 11, 2009
Marc Fischer

Last March, more than two years after California passed legislation to slash greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Marc Fischer boarded a Cessna loaded with air monitoring equipment and crisscrossed the skies above Sacramento and the Bay Area.

Instruments aboard the aircraft measured a cocktail of greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide from fossil fuel use, methane from livestock and landfills, CO2 from refineries and power plants, traces of nitrous oxide from agriculture and fuel use, and industrially produced other gases like refrigerants.

The flight was part of the Airborne Greenhouse Gas Emissions Survey, a collaboration between Berkeley Lab, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the University of California, and UC Davis to pinpoint the sources of greenhouse gases in central California.

The survey is intended to improve inventories of the states greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn will help scientists verify the emission reductions mandated by AB-32, the legislation enacted by California in 2006.

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Format: 2017-07-20
Format: 2017-07-20