The fossil fuel industry could be responsible for a much larger share of methane emissions than scientists and governments previously thought, new research shows.
A study published Wednesday in the journal Nature calculates that methane leaks from oil and gas production is between 25 to 40 percent higher than previous estimates show. Natural emissions of geologic methane are actually much lower.
“We’ve identified a gigantic discrepancy that shows the industry needs to, at the very least, improve their monitoring,” lead author Benjamin Hmiel told the New York Times. “If these emissions are truly coming from oil, gas extraction, production use, the industry isn’t even reporting or seeing that right now.”