A satellite named Vanguard was launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, with the aim of tracking carbon dioxide emissions. GHGSat, the company behind the satellite, offers its data for sale to industrial emitters, governments, and scientists, enabling them to better understand and reduce emissions.
Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is difficult to detect as it is often released from numerous small sources such as pipelines, drill sites, and farms. While carbon dioxide is responsible for nearly 80% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, current satellite monitoring is not focused on facility-level emissions.
Vanguard will help address this limitation by gathering data that can be used to validate common practices of monitoring and measuring carbon dioxide emissions. Stephane Germain, CEO of GHGSat, explained that the satellite’s direct measurements of entire facilities will play a crucial role in improving the accuracy of emission estimates.
Satellites have already revealed that methane emissions are higher than previously estimated, and Germain believes the same might be true for carbon dioxide. The data collected by Vanguard will not only enhance government emissions inventories and scientific modeling but also improve the quality of greenhouse gas reporting for investors.
By utilizing space-age technology, GHGSat is contributing to the accountability of polluting industries and supporting efforts to combat climate change. Their satellite network, which keeps expanding, is becoming an invaluable tool in identifying and addressing emissions from various sources. As the fight against climate change intensifies, monitoring and reducing carbon dioxide emissions will be crucial in achieving sustainability goals.