Currently in Los Angeles — October 6th, 2022

The weather, currently.

The marine layer's a bit thicker than usual today

Tomorrow will begin with a thick fog; once it heats up a thin coat of stubborn clouds will keep us company for the rest of the day. The morning clouds will be denser than the usual marine layer, so drive carefully on those coastal roads when you roar past the beach. It’ll be nice and cool during these hours, mostly in the mid-60’s and low-70’s. Around 11:00 AM we’ll get enough sunshine to chase the fog away, and we’ll have highs around 84°F. Still a bit warm for this season, even with the clouds helping us stay cool. Once we’re past sundown, the weather will move in reverse to recreate the scene from this morning. Low visibility in a foggy night and lows going down to 62°F.

—Renée Reizman

What you need to know, currently.

More bad news about methane! A new study in Science covering the three largest oil and gas basins found that flaring — the method through which companies dispose of unwanted methane — is often significantly less effective than previously thought. For decades, the prevailing wisdom was that flaring destroyed methane with 98 percent efficiency, turning it into CO2 which (while still not exactly beneficial) does less harm to the atmosphere. Researchers found that unlit and inefficient flares are allowing roughly five times as much methane to escape than previously believed.

Methane has roughly 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide and emissions have risen sharply since 2007, for reasons scientists don’t completely understand. Researchers worry that the rise in methane output may signal that we have entered into a self-perpetuating cycle in terms of climate change, making global heating even more difficult to reign in. Looked at in this light, the new study in Science on flaring inefficiency is both a depressing example of oil and gas laxity and a potential source of methane emission mitigation. Fix the flares and you can (slightly) bring down methane output.

What you can do, currently.

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