The MethaneSAT satellite project, set to launch in early 2024, aims to precisely detect global methane emissions. This collaboration involves the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), academic scientists, private space industry, and philanthropic funding. MethaneSAT’s goal is to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas facilities by 45 percent by 2025 and 70 percent by 2030, potentially having a significant climate impact within 20 years.
Methane, a potent but short-lived greenhouse gas, is often overlooked compared to long-lasting carbon dioxide. MethaneSAT’s technology, including a highly precise spectrometer, will enable scientists to track emissions, identify sources, and monitor changes more precisely than other satellites. The data will be available in near-real time for researchers, policymakers, and the public, driving action to reduce methane emissions, particularly in the oil and gas industry, where simple fixes can make a big difference.
This Harvard Gazette article looks at the MethaneSAT project in detail.