Clean Energy 101: Methane-detecting satellites

Read the full story from RMI.

Satellites are growing in prominence as an important tool in addressing the climate crisis by spotting global emissions. There are already dozens of greenhouse gas-detecting satellites in orbit today, and both public and private institutions have announced plans to launch more in the future. Additionally, at COP27, the UN announced a new high-tech, satellite-based global methane detection initiative — The Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) — which will leverage satellite data to alert governments, companies, and operators about large methane sources to foster rapid mitigation.

As satellite constellations expand — along with the data and insights they provide — so does the nuance in how they are used. To match the right tool with the right job, it’s important to understand what each satellite is designed to do, and how their data can help decision makers meet diverse but interrelated climate goals and objectives.

For this reason, RMI’s new report and Satellite Point source Emissions Completeness Tool (SPECT) aim to help users understand and assess satellite “completeness” as it relates to identifying and tracking super-emitters of methane, a greenhouse gas (GHG) 85 times more potent than CO2 on a 20-year time frame. Here, we unpack the definition, context, and importance of satellite completeness as a new and powerful tool in the push to slash climate pollution.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.