researchers from various agencies and nasa are studying methane emissions in california

Researchers from Various Agencies and NASA are Studying Methane Emissions in California


Methane emissions across the globe have a significant proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions. Methane is the second greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide liable for a massive change in the climate. Thus we need to reduce the emissions of methane gas. Thanks to a team of NASA researchers who are assisting California to form a comprehensive record of methane point origins for the entire state. They are using an exclusive airborne sensor to analyze extremely condensed methane discharges from solitary sources. According to a recently published report in the journal Nature, 0.2% of entire California methane ejectors contribute for more than a third of the state’s methane production. The range of emitters also includes single pipes releasing or leaking the greenhouse gas.

Notably, around half of the methane sources, so-called super-emitters, belong to landfills. The gas and oil industry, along with dairies, spread one-fourth of discharge sites, respectively. An engineer functioning with NASA’s JPL and the University of Arizona Riley Duren is the leading author of the study. He said technically, identifying these emitters will assist in closing sources that are accidental methane emissions, such as leaky pipes. Riley added a small group of super-emitters adds abnormally, and that recommends some soft targets.

Unlike carbon dioxide, methane toils heat in the environment, but it does so more effectively and for a short time. Researchers surmise that large dairy farms, waste dumps, along with industrial plants like oil and gas sectors, are liable for methane emissions in California. In order to combat the effect of methane on climate, the state has prioritized emissions caused due to humans. So it is essential to estimate and identify the sources to wipe out these difficult-to-find emissions. Thus NASA, the California Energy Commission, and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) had collaborated to pinpoint the origins.

The team of researchers has used a plane armed with AVRIS-NG (Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer). They have flown the equipment over around 300,000 plants and infrastructures in those areas. Notably, the tool can comprehensively identify methane plumes. The researchers have discovered more than 550 separate point sources releasing plumes of massively concentrated methane. Above all, the exploration has offered a comprehensive map of methane secretions from a particular component or portion of the industrial tools.

Jordan Hayes

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