UN unveils satellite-based methane detection system

UN unveils satellite-based methane detection system


The United Nations on Friday unveiled a satellite-based system to detect methane emissions as part of efforts to reduce the main contributor to global warming.

The Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) was announced by the UN Environment Program during the COP27 climate summit in the Egyptian seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Methane emitted by leaks from fossil fuel plants, as well as other man-made sources such as ranching and landfills, is responsible for about 30 percent of global temperature rise to date.

Dozens of countries last year pledged to take action to reduce pollution from the potent greenhouse gas.

MARS will use data from global mapping satellites to detect methane “hotspots” and large gas clouds and identify their source, the UN Environment Program said in a statement.

UNEP would then inform governments and companies about the emissions “so that the responsible body can take appropriate action”.

“Reducing methane emissions can make a big and fast difference, as this gas leaves the atmosphere much faster than carbon dioxide,” said UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen.

US Climate Ambassador John Kerry said cutting methane is the “fastest opportunity” to help the world meet the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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