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Can MethaneSAT Help Solve the Global Climate Crisis?


On March 4th, a leap forward in climate monitoring was achieved as the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) launched MethaneSAT into near orbit. This adds to the list of satellite and remote sensing tools (Climate Trace) being utilized to track greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This groundbreaking satellite promises to reshape our approach to combating climate change by offering real-time tracking of methane emissions—a GHG notorious for its potency and contributions to global warming.


The Methane Opportunity

Before exploring the innovation of MethaneSAT, it's crucial to grasp the gravity of the methane problem. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, possessing over 80 times the warming potency of carbon dioxide within the first 20 years after release into the atmosphere (GWP20)1,2. While carbon dioxide may remain in the atmosphere longer, methane takes the lead in driving near-term warming. 30% of current global warming stems from human-induced methane emissions1,3,4. Addressing methane emissions presents the quickest opportunity to slow the rate of global warming1,3,4. Addressing methane emissions presents the quickest opportunity to slow the rate of global warming1.


methane flare

A Game-Changer in Monitoring

MethaneSAT represents a shift in how we monitor and tackle methane emissions. Unlike current methods that rely heavily on estimations, this satellite offers a direct line of sight to emissions sources, rendering them visible and traceable. This capability alone is a game-changer, providing invaluable insights into the where, how much, and how emissions fluctuate over time.


MethaneSAT data image

Real-Time Actionable Data

One of the most compelling features of MethaneSAT is its ability to deliver real-time actionable data with unprecedented scale and precision. This means that stakeholders—from policymakers to industry leaders—can access timely information to inform decision-making and drive targeted interventions. Such agility is invaluable in the fight against climate change.


Advancing Transparency

At its core, MethaneSAT embodies the ethos of transparency—a cornerstone in the quest for environmental accountability. By unveiling methane emissions and rendering them visible on a global scale, MethaneSAT catalyzes a culture of openness and accountability, compelling stakeholders to confront the reality of their environmental footprint.


Looking Ahead

The move from estimated emissions to measured emissions is a fundamental change. This change has the potential to influence policy decisions and empower businesses to adopt sustainable practices at a pace yet to be seen. With MethaneSAT embarking on its mission to monitor methane emissions from space, now is the time to capitalize the quickest opportunity to slow the rate of global warming.

Additional Information

Fresh Coast Climate Solutions




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