We are entering a new era in monitoring of environmental super-emitters. A non-profit organization “Carbon Mapper” plans to deploy a network of satellites that can pinpoint sources of methane and carbon dioxide emissions.

They’re providing the zoom lens to find point source methane and CO2 emissions, quantify them and to get them in the hands of operators within 24 hours so that the rapid actions can be taken. The launch of the first satellite that can detect methane and carbon points of emissions is scheduled for 2023.

Real-time monitoring from space

spotting super-emmiters Carbon Mapper

Carbon Mapper combines the skills of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and satellite firm Planet with the state of California, two Arizona universities, a foundation and an environmental think tank.

A space-based system is particularly well-suited to monitoring methane emissions hot spots, also known as super-emitters.

Influence on policymakers

This is an interesting piece of news for policymakers. Regulators may be able to detect a company, state or nation that is not living up to its climate commitments. If the project is successful, the real-time monitoring could not only help curb the emissions in the same day, but overall transform the way the greenhouse gas emissions are regulated.

Background info on “Carbon Mapper”

Carbon Mapper is an American non-profit organization, that plans to use technology developed by the US space agency to track precisely points of emissions.

The company has raised $100 million for its first two satellites, planned for launch in 2023. A second phase, consisting of a constellation of satellites, is in the design stages for launch in 2025.