For the millions of people who descend on Munich for the annual bash, Oktoberfest is a celebration of beer, bands and bratwurst.
But as the dust settles for another year on the world’s largest folk festival, and die Bierleichen (“beer corpses”) return to the land of the living, environmental scientists have released the first analysis of methane emissions from the 16-day party.
Researchers at Technical University in Munich walked and cycled around the perimeter of the festival last year with mobile sensors aloft. The instruments found the event emitted nearly 1,500kg of methane – 10 times the amount that wafted off Boston, Massachusetts, in the same period.
The scientists attributed most of Oktoberfest’s emissions to leaks and incomplete combustion in cooking and heating appliances. Though an appreciable part of the rise in the gas, about 10%, was attributed to the flatulence and burps of attendees.