Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Satellite Images Show Biggest Methane Leaks Come From Russia, U.S.

View as: Print Mobile App Share:

A methane plume detected over the U.S. in satellite images from 2019.

Credit: Kayrros Inc., Esri, HERE, Garmin, FAO, NOAA, USGS, © OpenStreetMap contributors, and the GIS User Community.

Researchers from Duke University were part of a multinational team that determined methane "ultra-emitter" sites account for about a tenth of the oil and gas industry's global methane emissions.

The researchers identified the biggest plumes of methane from oil and gas facilities across the globe by running images from an instrument aboard a satellite through an algorithm.

They found these ultra-emitters pumped out more than 25 tons of methane per hour, with Turkmenistan releasing over 1 million tons of methane between 2019 and 2020.

Russia ranked second in terms of total methane emissions, with slightly less than 1 million tons over the same period, followed by the U.S., Iran, Algeria, and Kazakhstan.

The International Energy Agency's Christophe McGlade said the research "demonstrates the increasing viability of satellites to improve our understanding of methane emissions and highlights the importance of super-emitting events."

From New Scientist
View Full Article - May Require Paid Subscription


No entries found

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account