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NASA detects first methane leak on Earth from space

The Observation Has Been Done By The Hyperion Spectrometer On NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1). This Is An Important Breakthrough In Our Ability To Eventually Measure And Monitor Emissions Of This Potent Greenhouse Gas From Space.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Bindiya Bhatt | Updated on: 15 Jun 2016, 06:51:37 PM
Methane leak on Earth spotted by NASA from space for the first time

Los Angeles:

Methane emissions from a specific leaking facility on Earth’s surface have been measured by an instrument onboard an orbiting spacecraft for the first time. The observation has been done by the Hyperion spectrometer on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1). This is an important breakthrough in our ability to eventually measure and monitor emissions of this potent greenhouse gas from space.

The leak occurred over Aliso Canyon near Porter Ranch in California, David R Thompson of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the US said. The methane leak was detected successfully by the Hyperion instrument on three separate overpasses during the winter of 2015-16.

The research was part of an investigation of the large accidental Aliso Canyon methane release last fall and winter. “This is the first time the methane emissions from a single facility have been observed from space,” said Thompson. “The percentage of atmospheric methane produced through human activities remains poorly understood,” he added.

“Future instruments with much greater sensitivity on orbiting satellites can help resolve this question by surveying the biggest sources around the world, so that we can better understand and address this unknown factor in greenhouse gas emissions,” Thompson said. The research was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

(With inputs from PTI)

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First Published : 15 Jun 2016, 03:12:00 PM

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