VentMEDIC | Methane Emissions Detection and Integrated Controls | d-MRV

Methane Satellites; Our Chance to Slow Methane Emissions

In previous news, the launch of the newly developed technology MethaneSAT was released into orbit. With the ability to pinpoint individual sources of methane emissions and cover nearly 80 percent of global production sites, this advancement addressed the critical gap in current methane monitoring. In a recent article by Gina McCarthy of The Guardian Magazine, data collected over the previous month is highlighted. 

MethaneSAT, released into orbit in March by The Environmental Defense Fund, was designed to scan the earth for pollution, which is giving scientists, policymakers and the public a more comprehensive understanding of the levels of methane in the atmosphere. According to the International Energy Agency, methane is responsible for around 30 percent of the current rise in global temperature. Having a satellite to track these emissions globally could potentially be the next step in understanding the true impact methane is having on our planet.

Landfills have also become a major source of methane emissions. In the United States, landfill trash is the third-largest source of human-caused methane pollution. MethaneSAT observed emissions from hundreds of landfills spanning across the United States with emission rates well above the suspected threshold. The emission rates gathered meet the standard of “super-emitter;” a threshold that the EPA established the oil and gas sector. The landfill emission rate calculated over multiple visits, on average, was 1.4 times higher than the emissions being reported to the EPA. 

The benefits of tracking landfill emissions are exponential and could change the outcome of the current EPA standards, along with advancing our climate goals. Similar to VentMEDICS mission, having the correct protocols and procedures in place could have a significant impact in preventing small leaks from turning into “super-emitters”.

In just over a month, MethaneSAT has changed the outlook on the current state of methane pollutants across the globe. The new up-and-coming technologies, much like VentMEDICS debut, give us insight not only to present-day scientists and politicians but also to future generations on methane’s effect on our atmosphere.


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