EDF To Launch Satellite Monitoring Gas Leaks


Photo Courtesy by washingtonpost.com

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) plans to develop and launch their own satellite to monitor gas leaks from 50 major oil and gas regions that cause over 80 percent of  methane global production, according to spacenews.com.

The satellite, called MethaneSAT, will help the EDF measure methane outflow. MethaneSAT is the same size as a beer keg, and should be ready for launch in 2020 or early 2021, according to washingtonpost.com.

“Cutting methane emissions from the global oil and gas industry is the single fastest thing we can do to help put the brakes on climate change right now, even as we continue to attack the carbon dioxide emissions most people are more familiar with,” stated Fred Krupp, president of the EDF, according to spacenews.com.

Other satellites in space already monitor greenhouse gas leaks, but they supply a blurry picture. This is why MethaneSAT will prove to be more helpful since it will give a clear picture and it will give back accurate data, according to npr.org.

This satellite will also supply scientists with a bird’s eye view of the methane sources, so that they don’t have to get permission to go into oil and gas operations to find leaks, according to npr.org.

The EDF is trying to raise $40 million in funds to be able to make the satellite possible, according to washingtonpost.com.

Not only will the satellite be able to scan greenhouse leaks, but it will also monitor multiple methane outbreaks in areas like dairy operations, rice paddies, landfills and wetlands, according to npr.org.

Methane would affect the environment if it is leaked because it absorbs the heat from the sun, making the atmosphere warmer and affecting the climate by increasing climate pollution, according to edf.org.