European Space Agency launches new tool to combat climate change

The new technology will make it possible to track and attribute methane emissions around the world

The Big Zero report

The European Space Agency has launched a new tool to combat climate change.

Scientists from Kayrros, a European technology start-up, have recently developed a platform to monitor methane emissions on a global scale.

Their findings come from a technology that leverages Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite data along with additional information from a range of other sources – such as ground sensor data, position tracking and social media data.

In addition to these, supplementary data from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 missions was also used, resulting in the ability to pinpoint the location, potency and size of methane leaks around the world.

Their studies show that there are around 100 high volume-emitting methane leaks at any one time around the world. Around 50% of these emissions come from regions with activities in oil and gas, coal mining and other heavy industries.

Jean Bastin, Product Manager at Kayrros, explains, “Over one year, those 100 leaks are releasing 20Mt of methane, with around half of those attributable to the oil and gas sector and other heavy industries.

“This means that this sector emits an amount of methane that is equivalent to the yearly carbon dioxide emissions of both Germany and France combined.”

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