Google Satellite Monitors Methane Levels

Tech giant Google is partnering with the Environmental Defense Fund to launch a satellite project aimed at collecting data on methane levels around the world. Methane gas is a significant contributor to global warming, as it traps heat in the atmosphere. While methane is produced by various sources, including farming and waste disposal, the project will primarily focus on methane emissions from oil and gas plants.

The satellite, set to orbit 300 miles above the Earth, will make 15 orbits per day, providing comprehensive coverage. Google’s artificial intelligence tools will process the data captured by the satellite to generate a methane map. This map will help identify methane leaks in oil and gas infrastructure worldwide.

However, Google clarified that it would not directly notify the companies responsible for any significant leaks identified. Instead, the information will be made available to governments and regulators, who can then take appropriate action. Currently, there are no international rules specifically addressing methane emissions, although the EU has proposed measures to reduce them.

Google’s methane map will be published on its Earth Engine platform, offering valuable insights into methane emissions. While the data will not be in real-time, as it will be sent back every few weeks, it will help fill gaps in existing tools for tracking methane levels.

Livestock, particularly cows, are a major source of methane emissions due to their digestive processes. The project aims to detect and address both large-scale and diffuse methane sources, including those emanating from agriculture.

By leveraging satellite technology and artificial intelligence, Google’s satellite project holds great promise in combating global warming by identifying and addressing methane emissions. With its commitment to making information available to governments and regulators, Google is taking a proactive role in addressing this pressing environmental issue.

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