There may be a significant problem with the measuring stick scientists use to account for how much methane is affecting climate change, according to a recent study led by researchers at Oxford University.

The long-term effect of methane emissions might appear to be a lot greater than it really is when compared to carbon dioxide in terms of both gases’ potential to warm the climate. The Oxford researchers suggest a new way to account for methane that highlights the considerable differences in how each gas turns up the atmospheric furnace.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, and the way scientists account for its climate impact is critical to the Obama administration’s efforts to regulate the energy industry’s methane emissions. It is also an important part of countries’ emissions reduction pledges under the Paris Climate Agreement.