In Aliso Canyon in California, a gas leak is spewing methane into the air. On the 23rd of October 2015 the leak erupted at a natural gas storage facility near Los Angeles.
As of the time of writing (Jan 2016), this leak is still ongoing - at an enormous rate. We have created this animated visualisation to give insight as to the scale of that rate.
spheres per second:
mass per second:
mass per minute:
mass per hour:
mass per day:
This visualisation is showing us accurate volumes of gas at (approximately) the actual rate at which they are being emitted. Each sphere represents 10 kg of gas. After 4 tonnes have been emitted the animation starts again from the beginning.
Methane is a powerful climate pollutant and greenhouse gas. It’s about 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide. This means that 1 kg of methane being emitted will have a similar effect on global warming as 84 kg of CO2. If you click the button at the top of the visualisation marked ‘Carbon Dioxide’, you will be able to see the CO2 equivalent emissions rate.
EDF have published a very good article on the Aliso Canyon leak here.