A new Satellite can help on Running out Methane from our planet

A new Satellite can help on Running out Methane from our planet

Multimillion-dollar Satellite will detect fumes of Earth-warming Methane from space with pinpoint accuracy.

Global Warming is a massive threat to the mankind that is acknowledged across the globe. Industrial advancements and Deforestation have made a devastating impact on the carbon cycle. This lead to carbon imbalance which has the potential to burn the Earth up in near future. Scientists from various parts of the world joined forces in order to prolong the life of our planet. They are exploring every avenue ranging from adoption of environment-friendly ways to inventions that could help to reduce pollution. One of the recent developments that emerged to the scene last week was that researchers are developing a satellite that will accurately trace industrial methane leaks.

Methane is a major contributor to the rise of temperature that we observe around the world. It is released in large quantities by various industries and plays a vital role in developing the greenhouse effect. It is approximately 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in the short term. The industries of oil and gas are the major contributors of Methane as one-third of anthropogenic emissions come through them. It is alone responsible for more than 20% human-induced climatic change. Fred Krupp, the President of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced that they will launch a satellite by 2021, under the name ‘MethaneSAT’, which will monitor methane leakages in all parts of the world. He said,

Cutting methane emissions from the global oil and gas industry is the single fastest thing we can do to help put the brakes on climate change right now. By providing reliable, fully transparent data on a worldwide scale, MethaneSAT will help transform a serious climate threat into a crucial opportunity.”

The detection of methane leakages is not an easy task at all. The fact that it is colorless and odorless makes it difficult to measure and that’s the reason underestimated emissions were reported by the Environmental Protection Agency in their attempt to determine the scope of the problem. Having said that the identification of methane leaks won’t cost us much. According to an analysis of the International Energy Agency, nearly half of the leaks can be stopped at zero cost. The reason for this is that companies sell the extra gas and the cost of clogging these leakages will come from there. The only thing that we need is the public availability of the transparent data in this regard and this satellite will give us exactly that. Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment seems to agree to this as he said,

To help companies and countries cut these emissions faster, we need better data that will enable quick, cost-effective action. The MethaneSAT project will help fill this gap, and make us that much smarter as we tackle this threat.”

The services of EDF needs to be appreciated in this regard as they have invested a lot of time and money to save our planet. They spent $20 million for organizing a 5-year research to look for leaks in the US across the production and supply network. This helped the regulatory authorities to adjust their estimate of national emissions of methane. Various airplane flyovers and ground instruments were used to judge the accurate amount of methane released into the American environment. Considering the global impact, all these methods are not possible either due to financial constraints or due to political influences.

This is the reason scientists went for the option of a satellite as they will be able to check methane leaks without the constraints of any physical boundary. A lot of people and organizations, belonging to different geographical locations, have stressed that satellite measurements are a necessity to tackle this fatal issue. Different companies associated with satellite development has also confirmed that this project is very much feasible despite being difficult.

EDF joined forces with Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Harvard University for this revolutionary mission. Similarly, they hired Tom Ingersoll, who is a Satellite Entrepreneur and Aerospace Veteran, for this project. He himself acknowledged that this mission is difficult but possible, thanks to the modern technology. He said,

“Advances in space technology have put satellite projects within reach of any organization with the focus and the will.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *