Last fall, European Space Agency satellites detected huge plumes of the invisible planet-warming gas methane leaking from the Yamal pipeline that carries natural gas from Siberia to Europe. Energy consultancy Kayrros estimated one leak was spewing out 93 tonnes of methane every hour, meaning the daily emissions from the leakage were equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide pumped out in a year by 15,000 cars in the United States. The find, which has not been reported, is part of a growing effort by companies, academics, and some energy producers to use space-age technology to find the biggest methane leaks as the potent heat-trapping gas builds up rapidly in the atmosphere. The new satellite discoveries of methane leaks could also lead to more stringent regulatory regimes targeting natural gas, once seen as a “clean” fossil fuel, as governments seek to combat climate change, experts say. While scientists generally agree that calculating emissions based on consumption works well for carbon dioxide, it is less reliable for methane, which is prone to unexpected leaks. Methane is also 80 times more potent during its first 20 years in the atmosphere, and scientists say that identifying methane sources is crucial to making the drastic emissions cuts needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change.