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Seasonal variation of methane flux from a California rice paddy


  • R. J. Cicerone,

  • J. D. Shetter,

  • C. C. Delwiche


To allow increased understanding of the global budget of atmospheric methane, individual methane sources require investigation. We have measured methane emissions from a California rice paddy during the entire 1982 growing season. A very strong seasonal dependence was observed. Methane emissions were highest in the last 2–3 weeks before harvest; daily emissions reached 5 g CH4/m2. Over the 100-day season, daily emissions averaged about 0.25 g CH4/m2, higher than our previously reported values. Attempts to estimate global rice paddy emissions must recognize the possibility of seasonal variations. Soil temperature at 10-cm depth correlated poorly with our measured fluxes; soil redox potential was a more reliable indicator.