A satellite data system will help detect and act on methane emissions
- November 12, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
A satellite data system will help detect, and act on methane emissions
- A new satellite-based system will now help governments detect methane emissions and tackle them.
About Methane Alert and Response System (MARS)-
- The Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) was launched at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
- MARS is a part of global efforts to slow climate change by tackling global warming gas.
- The data-to-action platform was set up as part of the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO) strategy to get policy-relevant data into the right hands for emissions mitigation.
- It will be the first publicly available global system to connect methane detection to notification processes transparently.
- It will use state-of-the-art satellite data to identify significant emission events, notify relevant stakeholders, and support and track mitigation progress.
Methane as a Greenhouse gas-
- Methane accounts for a small portion of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions compared to carbon dioxide.
- But it is thought to be 80 times more efficient than carbon dioxide at trapping atmospheric heat in the 20 years following its release.
- The global mean temperature in 2022 is currently estimated to be about 1.15 °C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average
- United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) scientists recently found 50 “super-emitters” of methane gas in central Asia, west Asia and the southwestern United States.
Super emitters detected by the Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation instrument (EMIT)-
- EMIT located a plume in the Permian Basin, New Mexico. It was roughly 3.3 kilometres long. The Permian, one of the world’s biggest oilfields, extends across portions of southern New Mexico and western Texas.
- In Turkmenistan, EMIT identified 12 plumes from oil and gas infrastructure in the Caspian Sea port of Hazar. Some plumes spanned more than 32 kilometres.
- Most of these sites have ties with agriculture and fossil fuel industries.
Status of methane emission globally-
- The 27-country EU is the world’s biggest buyer of gas, while the United States is the world’s biggest oil and gas producer.
- Agriculture is the top source of methane emissions worldwide, but experts say the energy sector can cut emissions faster and often at low cost.
- Methane is the main component of natural gas and leaches into the atmosphere from oil wells and leaky gas pipelines.
- Despite that incentive to capture emissions, atmospheric concentrations of methane surged last year by the highest amount since records began in the 1980s.
About Global Methane Pledge-
- It is introduced by the United States and EU in 2021 to slash methane emissions by 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels.
- It has since been signed by 119 countries, among them 13 of the world’s top 20 methane emitters including Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Nigeria.
- Forty countries are expected to publish plans at the COP27 summit detailing how they will meet the Global Methane Pledge – which is voluntary but aims to trigger more binding policies.
- The Pledge does not include China, the world’s biggest methane emitter and Russia, which was Europe’s biggest gas supplier before it invaded Ukraine in February.
Top methane emitting countries-
- The world’s five largest methane emitters (from all sources) are China, India, the United States, Russia and Brazil.
- Together, they are responsible for close to half of all methane emissions globally.
- Of these, only the United States and Brazil are part of the Global Methane Pledge.
- Looking only at energy-related emissions, the five largest emitting countries are China, Russia, the United States, Iran and India.
- Of these, only the United States is part of the Pledge.