Natural gas pipes in the Boston area are leaking methane at twice to three times the rate estimated by government, according to a paper published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The paper is “the first peer-reviewed study that quantifies emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, from natural gas installations in urban areas—including pipelines, storage terminals, and power plants,” InsideClimate News reports. The research was conducted by a team from Harvard University and other institutions.
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“The Boston study found an overall leak rate of 2.1% to 3.3% in the region, compared with the 1.1% estimated by Massachusetts’ official state greenhouse gas inventory,” Song writes. The research “fits nicely with other studies showing that we need better quantification of methane emissions from a range of sources, and should not only focus on unconventional extraction from shale gas fields,” University of Michigan Prof. Eric Kort tells Song.
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