Tracking methane emissions to combat Global Warming


A new satellite, called MethaneSAT, will track methane emissions from oil and gas fields, as well as agriculture and natural sources. It's due for launch in three years. PHOTO CREDIT: Environmental Defense Funds via NPR


While we know that carbon dioxide makes up much of the greenhouse gas causing global warming, methane is proving to be a significant factor as well. A non-profit called the Environmental Defense Fund is making ambitious plans to launch a satellite that could precisely locate and monitor methane emissions around the globe.


"Methane is such a potent greenhouse gas. The gas actually accounts for more than one quarter of the additional warming that we experience today." ~ Steven Hamburg, a climate scientist at EDF via NPR


Oil and gas companies are often the source of methane leaks. Farms and natural wetlands also generate methane, especially in regards to cattle and beef production. The satellite will be able to quantify and track the methane gas, determining how big of a problem it is on a global scale. The EDF plans to launch the satellite in three years.



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