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Older U.S. east coast cities are leaking nine times as much natural gas into the air — from homes or pipes heading into houses — than the federal government had thought, a new airborne monitoring study finds.
It's probably not a safety problem because what's coming out doesn't reach explosive concentrations, but the extra methane heading into the air is a climate change issue, said study co-author University of Michigan atmospheric scientist Eric Kort.
Scientists - National - Oceanic - Atmospheric - Administration
Scientists flew a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration airplane over New York City, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore and Providence, Rhode Island, for 1,200 hours in 2018 and found lots more methane. They couldn't tell if the methane, a potent greenhouse gas, was leaking from inside homes or the pipes leading to homes.
"You have a very leaky system," study co-author Colm Sweeney, a NOAA atmospheric scientist, said Monday.
Cities - Tons - Methane - Tons - US
The six cities spewed nearly 937,000 tons of methane (850,000 metric tons), which is more than twice what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates, according to the study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Methane comes from different...
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