Boston’s natural gas infrastructure releases high levels of heat-trapping methane

Publish Date: 
January 22, 2015
Article Source: 
Harvard University

Media article link:  "Boston’s natural gas infrastructure releases high levels of heat-trapping methane" on the Harvard website.

A new "Harvard-led study reveals [the region's] aging natural gas distribution system short-changes customers [and] contributes to greenhouse gas buildup."

As part of the study led by researches at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, AER scientists contributed atmospheric transport modeling and research expertise including the "high-resolution regional atmospheric transport model [used] to calculate the amount of emissions."

Thomas Nehrkorn from AER adapted, ran, and evaluated the results of the WRF-STILT model. This model is a linchpin of multiple GHG-related efforts worldwide and has been developed at AER over the past decade with support from NSF, NASA, NOAA, the intelligence community, and private industry. AER scientists who worked with Dr. Nehrkorn on the project include Jennifer Hegarty, Marikate Mountain, John Henderson, and the late Dr. Janusz Eluszkiewicz. Other applications of WRF-STILT are studies of methane emissions over the Arctic and of carbon dioxide emissions over the Northeast corridor of the U.S.

Read the research study, “Methane emissions from natural gas infrastructure and use in the urban region of Boston, Massachusetts” here.