1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. UPSC

MethaneSAT

Why is it in the news?

  • MethaneSAT is a satellite designed to track and measure methane emissions globally. Methane is the second largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide.
  • It was launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon9 rocket from California. While not the first spacecraft to identify methane emissions, MethaneSAT offers more detailed and wider-ranging capabilities.
About Methane

·       Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, responsible for 30% of global heating since the Industrial Revolution.

·       It also contributes to ground-level ozone formation, leading to approximately one million premature deaths annually.

 

More about the news

  • Fossil fuel operations account for about 40% of human-caused methane emissions. MethaneSAT aims to help reduce these emissions.
  • MethaneSAT is developed by the Environmental Defence Fund (EDF) in collaboration with Harvard University, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and the New Zealand Space Agency.
  • The satellite will orbit the Earth 15 times a day, monitoring the oil and gas sector. It aims to provide data on methane emissions, their sources, and trends over time.
  • MethaneSAT will collect data and make it publicly available for free in near real-time. This will enable stakeholders and regulators to take action to reduce methane emissions.
  • Equipped with high-resolution infrared sensors and a spectrometer, MethaneSAT can detect even small methane emissions. It also has a wide-camera view to identify large emitters or “super emitters.”
  • Google is a mission partner, providing cloud-computing and AI technology to analyse collected data. The data will be accessible through Google’s Earth Engine platform.
  • MethaneSAT’s launch coincides with global efforts to reduce methane emissions. It will help countries and companies meet emission reduction targets and bring transparency to methane commitments.
  • While the data collected will be publicly available, there’s no guarantee it will compel polluters to curb their emissions without additional measures or incentives.

Get free UPSC Updates straight to your inbox!

Discover more from AMIGOS IAS

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading