NASA has identified dozens of ‘super methane emitters’ from space – teach me about science

Using a tool designed to study how dust affects the climate, he went with scientists from the US space agency (Container) Unveiled what could be a climate revolution against methane.

Scientists have discovered more than 50 hotspots around the world that emit significant levels of methane. Methane is a colorless, odorless, highly flammable gas, lighter than air, produced in nature by the decomposition of organic matter.

This gas is one of the causes of global warming. “Reducing methane emissions is key to reducing global warming”, He said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in a press release on Tuesday. “This exciting new development will not only help researchers better determine the source of the methane leak, but will also provide insights into how to quickly address it.”

The task of investigating the sources of mineral dust on the Earth’s surface (IMIT, It was designed for its English acronym) by NASA to identify and understand the major minerals in the planet’s deserts that produce dust.

NASA expression With this information, we seek to understand the impact of dust particles suspended in the atmosphere on the climate. Scientists realized that EMIT was able to detect the presence of methane.

Dozens of super emitters

This is undoubtedly one of those discoveries that are surprising because they are not the main objective of the investigation.

To date, more than 50 have been identified. super emittersof methane in Central Asia, the Middle East, and the southwestern United States. As expected, the points where methane sources are located were in places related to fossil fuels, waste or agricultural sectors.

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“EMIT’s additional ability to detect methane provides a fantastic opportunity to measure and monitor the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change,” said Kate Calvin, NASA’s chief scientist and senior climate advisor.

Flammable gas is responsible for 30% of global temperature rise, and it is one of the biggest climate problems facing the world.

“Controlling methane emissions is key to limiting global warming. This exciting new development will not only help researchers better determine the source of the methane leak, but will also provide insights into how to quickly address it,” said Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator. International Space Station and more than two dozen NASA satellites and instruments in space are invaluable in determining changes in Earth’s climate. EMIT is proving to be an important tool in the “toolbox” for measuring this powerful greenhouse gas and stopping it at its source.”

What is global warming?

Greenhouse gases increase the temperature at the Earth’s surface, and they interact with solar energy.

It is a greenhouse gas, absorbing and releasing radiation within the infrared range. This process is the primary cause of the greenhouse effect.

The problem is when these emissions are so large that they cause high temperatures, which leads to climate change.

How were these methane emitters detected?

Methane absorbs infrared light in a unique pattern called a spectroscopic fingerprint, which is detected by the EMIT spectrometer, an instrument that also has the ability to measure carbon dioxide.

With extensive coverage from its observation point aboard the space station, EMIT has the ability to find hundreds of super-emitters, some of which were previously detected by atmospheric, space-based or ground-based measurements, and others that were previously unknown.

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For more information, see Container.

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