"Six times more natural gas is leaking into the skies of Boston than is officially reported, new research shows. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also suggests that gas could be escaping not only from distribution pipelines but from inside businesses and homes as well — a finding that some say may be overstated.Natural gas is made up primarily of methane, which — when released directly into the atmosphere instead of being burned first — has more than 80 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.The study monitored natural gas methane emissions in the Boston area between 2012 and 2020. It found that an average of 49,000 tons of methane leaked into the air each year. That amounts to an estimated 2.5 percent of all gas delivered to the metro area and is equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions of roughly a quarter-million cars operating for a year."
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|MARK LORENZ FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE/FILE|