50 Major Methane Leaks From Space

Where Are the Methane “super-Emitters”? More than 50 Major Space Methane Leaks Found by Nasa.!

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, there is 262% more methane in the atmosphere, but where is all that methane coming from?

More than 50 methane super-emitters have been mapped from space according to NASA’s Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT).

According to a Tuesday press release from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), research technologist Andrew Thorpes, some of the plumes EMIT discovered are among the largest ever seen. What we’ve discovered so quickly already surpasses our expectations.

Methane wasn’t really considered when EMIT was created. Its primary objective is to catalog specific minerals in deserts that produce dust, which will aid scientists in understanding how dust affects climate. An imaging spectrometer that recognizes the chemical characteristics of different minerals is used to do this.

EMIT principal investigator Robert Green of JPL noted during a press briefing that methane turns out to also have a spectral signature in the same wavelength region, and that’s what’s allowed us to be sensitive to it.

50 Major Methane Leaks From Space

The International Space Station, EMIT was set up in July. Every 90 minutes, it rounds the Earth from there, according to Reuters. It can zoom in to see a soccer field’s worth of space from a vantage point around 250 miles above the surface of the Earth. Over the previous three months, it has been able to pinpoint more than 50 methane super-emitters at areas in Central Asia, the Middle East, and the Southwestern United States at these altitudes, according to NASA.

These Consist Of:

  1. Southeast of Carlsbad, New Mexico: A methane plume around two miles long was detected in the Permian Basin, which is the largest oil field in the world and stretches between southeastern New Mexico and western Texas. It flowed at a rate of 40,300 pounds per hour.
  2. South of Tehran, Iran: A three-mile plume was detected from a landfill. It flowed at a rate of 18,700 pounds per hour.
  3. East of Hazar, Turkmenistan: Twelve plumes were detected from oil and gas infrastructure near the Caspian Sea port city, some of which extended more than 20 miles. They flowed at a rate of 111,000 pounds per hour, which is similar to the rate of the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak near Los Angeles and one of the U.S. s biggest-ever methane releases.

50 Major Methane Leaks From Space

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Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that traps heat 80 times better than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, making it useful to identify these super-emitters. But it also remains in the atmosphere for just around 10 years, which is a significantly shorter period of time. Therefore, finding and stopping methane leaks can affect the environment more immediately.

To reduce global warming, methane emissions must be controlled. According to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, this exciting new breakthrough will not only assist researchers in better identify the source of methane leaks but will also shed light on how to effectively remedy them.

Determining changes to the Earth’s climate has long been made possible by NASA’s more than two dozen satellites, the International Space Station, and other space-based devices. In order to assess and reduce this dangerous greenhouse gas at its source, EMIT is proving to be a vital tool in our toolkit.

50 Major Methane Leaks From Space

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According to Scientific American, EMIT discovered these leaks at the very beginning of its mission, when researchers were still evaluating it and learning about its potential. As a result, they forecast that it will be even more effective in locating gas leaks.

In terms of mapping greenhouse gases, Thorpe stated at the press conference as quoted by Scientific American, “We are really just scratching the surface.” By identifying these emission sources, EMIT has the potential to significantly reduce emissions from human activities.

Adam Bertocci

Adam has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. He lived with computers all his life and he works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. Ryan has been working with Enviro 360 now. He likes to swim and play video games as his hobby.

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