Mapping Methane: The Trio of Sentinel Satellites Targeting Super-Potent Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Thomas Leyk
2 Min Read

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that has a global warming potential 25 times higher than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period. It plays a significant role in climate change, making it essential to monitor and understand its sources and behavior. In an effort to combat this environmental issue, a trio of Sentinel satellites has been deployed to map methane emissions.

The European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5P, Sentinel-5, and Sentinel-2 satellites work together to provide a comprehensive view of methane concentrations and sources. Sentinel-5P focuses on monitoring air pollution, including methane emissions, while Sentinel-5 measures greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. Sentinel-2, on the other hand, provides high-resolution imagery of the Earth’s surface.

By combining the data from these satellites, scientists can better identify and monitor methane hotspots, such as natural gas leaks, agricultural activities, and wetlands. This information is crucial for policymakers and researchers to develop effective strategies to reduce methane emissions and mitigate climate change.

The Sentinel satellites use various instruments to detect methane concentrations. Sentinel-5P carries the TROPOMI instrument, which is capable of measuring methane concentrations with high precision. Sentinel-5 utilizes the TROPOSLIM instrument to measure greenhouse gases, including methane, in the Earth’s atmosphere. Sentinel-2 captures imagery of the Earth’s surface, providing valuable contextual information for methane monitoring.

With the wealth of data provided by the Sentinel satellites, scientists can identify significant sources of methane emissions and track their changes over time. This information is essential for understanding the impact of human activities on methane levels and developing effective mitigation strategies.

In conclusion, the trio of Sentinel satellites plays a crucial role in mapping methane emissions and understanding their sources. With their combined capabilities, these satellites provide valuable data for policymakers and scientists working towards reducing methane emissions and fighting climate change.

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