Did you ever drive on a very hot day and see the heat rising from the road cause the scenery to shimmer and seem to turn liquid? Something similar is happening in this short video, below. It shows the hot exhaust rising from the flare stack casting a flowing shadow on the grass, as if the gas were a liquid. You can’t see the exhaust directly, but you can see its shadow.
What’s happening here is that the flare station is doing the job it was designed to do. Near the bottom of the stack, behind the “HOT” sign, sits a burner. At about 1400° it incinerates the methane and other landfill gases collected by the pipe network under the park. I’ll leave the technical details to another time. Some history and background here.
The park, of course, is built on top of a landfill. Some 22 years of Berkeley garbage is buried here. Bacteria are at work fermenting what hasn’t already decomposed and generating methane and other gases. The flare station converts the methane into carbon dioxide and other byproducts. Both methane and carbon dioxide are greenhouse gases, but methane is about 25 times more harmful to the atmosphere than CO2.