A recent study surrounding the climatic impact of gas stoves has found that stoves are contributing more to global warming than previously thought because of constant tiny methane leaks while they’re off.
A team of California researchers published a study in Thursday’s journal Environmental Science & Technology, stating that emissions around stoves in homes raised new concerns about indoor air quality and health because of levels of nitrogen oxides measured.
According to the study, even when they are not running, U.S. gas stoves are putting 2.6 million tons of methane — in carbon dioxide equivalent units — into the air each year. That’s equivalent to the annual amount of greenhouse gases from 500,000 cars or what the United States puts into the air every three-and-a-half hours. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is dozens of times more potent than carbon dioxide but doesn’t stay in the atmosphere nearly as long and isn’t as plentiful in the air.
Many communities have bans on gas stove use in future new construction that will take effect in future years, including New York City and the Bay Area cities of San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and Berkeley, and this practice will help considerably in cutting down harmful emissions.