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Tue, Jan 19

More methane, more problems

Since late October, an underground storage facility in the Los Angeles suburb of Porter Ranch has been leaking some 800 tons of methane into the air each day. As thousands of residents are evacuated and kids are temporarily forced to attend different schools, the leak is making headlines across the country.

Most of the stories out there mention that methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Some go on to explain that the leak is now California’s biggest climate change contributor. But none of the coverage I’ve seen explains what exactly makes this gas worse than others. So I tracked down a few experts to help me understand what those methane molecules actually do to the atmosphere. Here’s what I learned.

Read more from On Earth.