The Effects Of Methane Emissions On The Urban Region Of Boston, Massachusetts

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Analysis of Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Infrastructure and Use in the Urban Region of Boston, Massachusetts

Methane is a natural gas and as such is a large component of greenhouse gases. Consequently, methane emissions in the atmosphere contribute greatly to not only an increase in ozone concentrations but subsequently a rise in global temperature. Therefore, it is critical that accurate measurements of methane loss to the ozone layer be measured in order to develop effective programs with the primary aim of lowering natural gas emissions. This study suggests that current methods of measuring methane emissions may be inaccurate. The results revealed that the annual natural gas emissions in the Boston region totalled 2.7 ± 0.6% (worth approximately 90 million dollars) which conflicts with the Massachusetts Greenhouse Gas Inventory estimate of 1.1% natural gas emission rate in the region. This suggests that urban regions such as Boston may be seriously underestimating their methane emission rate as outlined by various authority departments. This research is significant as many other studies have not encompassed the downstream components (such as distribution) of methane emissions, as the main focus is presently on production. This shows that distribution may be a much larger influencing factor than previously anticipated.

Methane (CH4) is one of the simplest forms of hydrocarbons and is found in abundance worldwide through the form of natural gas
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