A model developed by the authors (Huang et al. 1998) was further validated against field measurements from various regions of the world and calibrated to estimate methane emission from irrigated rice cultivation of China. On the basis of available information on rice cultivated area, growth duration, grain yield, soil texture and temperature, methane emission from Chinese rice paddies was estimated for 28 rice cultivated provinces in mainland. The calculated daily methane emission rates, on a provincial scale, ranged from 0.15 to 0.86 g m–2 with an average of 0.32 g m–2. Five of the top six locations with higher daily methane emissions are located at a latitude between 28° and 31° N. A total amount of 9.66 Tg (1 Tg = 1012 g) CH4 per year, ranging from 7.19 to 13.62, was estimated to be released from Chinese rice paddy soils. Of the total, 45% is emitted from the single-rice growing season, and 19% and 36% are from the early-rice and the late-rice growing seasons, respectively. Approximately 70% of the total is emitted in the region located at latitude between 25° and 32° N. The emissions from rice fields in Sichuan and Hunan Province were calculated to be 2.85 Tg y–1, accounting for ≈ 30% of the total. Comparisons of the estimated and the observed emission rates show that the estimates were, in general, close to the measurements at most locations.