SpaceX, together with Google, launches a satellite into space to combat global warming

5 March 2024 2 minutes Author: Newsman

A state-of-the-art methane detection satellite has been sent into Earth orbit, with the main purpose of monitoring methane emissions from the world’s leading oil and gas companies. This advanced spacecraft is designed to accurately track and map methane levels released into the atmosphere by major players in the oil and gas industry.

The MethaneSAT satellite, launched to track methane emissions into the Earth’s atmosphere, is part of a global effort to combat climate change. The launch took place on a Falcon 9 rocket led by SpaceX from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. MethaneSAT is designed to monitor emissions from leading oil and gas companies, allowing companies, regulators, governments, investors and gas importers access to near-real-time data. This will provide an opportunity to make methane emissions more transparent and contribute to the fulfillment of commitments made by oil and gas companies at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.

The MethaneSAT mission is a joint initiative of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Google, the New Zealand Space Agency and Harvard University and is supported by the Bezos Earth Foundation, Arnold Ventures, the Robertson Foundation and the TED Audacious Project. The satellite is capable of detecting and quantifying methane emissions over large areas that other satellites are unable to focus on, marking large sources of emissions.

MethaneSAT data will help track emissions reduction pledges by more than 50 oil and gas companies, which were made in the context of efforts to reduce methane emissions and reduce conventional gas flaring.

The importance of monitoring methane emissions is that it is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of global warming, with the oil and gas sector as the largest industrial emitter.

Interactive emissions data will be made available to the public via the EDF website and the Google Earth Engine analytics platform, where all input data will be processed using artificial intelligence via Google Cloud.

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