December 9, 2022

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NASA discovers more than 50 'super emitting' methane regions around the world: ScienceAlert

NASA discovers more than 50 ‘super emitting’ methane regions around the world: ScienceAlert

NASA scientists, using a tool Designed to study how dust affects climate, it has identified more than 50 spots around the world that emit significant levels of methane, a development that could help combat the powerful greenhouse gas.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a press release Tuesday.

“This exciting new development will not only help researchers better identify the source of the methane leak, but will also provide insight into how to address it — quickly.”

NASA said that the investigation into the source of the mineral dust on Earth’s surface (emit) to enhance understanding of the effects of airborne dust on climate.

But EMIT, which was installed on the International Space Station in July and can focus on areas as small as a football field, has also demonstrated the ability to detect the presence of methane.

A 4.8 km long methane column south of Tehran, Iran. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

So far, more than 50 “super emitters” of methane have been identified in Central Asia, the Middle East, and the southwestern United States, NASA said. Most of them are related to the fossil fuel, waste or agriculture sectors.

Kate Calvin, NASA Chief Scientist and Senior Climate Adviser, He said EMIT’s additional ability to detect methane provides a great opportunity to measure and monitor the greenhouse gases that contribute to Climate change. “

“Exceeds our expectations”

Methane is responsible for nearly 30 percent of global warming to date.

While less abundant in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide2, it is about 28 times more powerful than the greenhouse gases on a century time scale. Over a 20-year time frame, they are 80 times more effective.

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Methane stays in the atmosphere for only a decade, compared to hundreds or thousands of years for carbon dioxide2.

That means a sharp drop in emissions could remove several tenths of a degree Celsius of projected global warming by mid-century, helping maintain the Paris Agreement’s goal of capping global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to the United Nations programme. for the environment. (United Nations Environment Programme).

“EMIT will likely find hundreds of super-emitters — some of which have been previously observed by atmospheric, space-based, or ground-based measurements, and others that are unknown,” NASA said. He said.

Some of the methane plumes discovered by EMIT are among the largest ever seen, said Andrew Thorpe, a research technician at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who leads the methane emissions efforts.

“What we found in such a short time actually exceeded our expectations,” Thorpe He said.

A column of methane gas about two miles (3.3 kilometers) long has been discovered southeast of Carlsbad, New Mexico, in the Permian Basin, one of the world’s largest oil fields, NASA said.

It added that 12 pillars of oil and gas infrastructure have been identified in Turkmenistan, east of the coastal city of Hazar on the Caspian Sea.

A column of methane gas at least 4.8 km long was discovered south of Tehran from a major waste processing complex, NASA said.

© AFP