Scientists from NASA, thanks to the device placed on the International Space Station, have discovered more than 50 places on Earth, from which especially high emissions of methane come into the atmosphere. According to researchers, this greenhouse gas is just as dangerous to the climate as carbon dioxide. “What we discovered in such a short period of time really exceeded our expectations,” said Andrew Thorpe of the project.
methane greenhouse gasesWhich consists of carbon atoms and four hydrogen atoms. In nature, it is formed as a result of anaerobic decomposition of plant debris. The two largest sources of methane are Agriculture and Energy Industry. This chemical for example The main component of mine gas and natural gas.
Methane has a greater ability to retain heat than carbon dioxide. It also pollutes the air heavilyWe breathe. It can lead to diseases such as asthma and emphysema.
In the opinion of many scholars Reducing methane emissions is key to containing the effects of the climate crisisFor example, an increase in global global temperature.
In July, NASA installed a new program on the International Space Station. The aim of the project called EMIT (Investigating the Source of Mineral Surface Dust) was to help understand the impact of airborne dust on climate. The purpose of the instrument was to determine the mineral composition of dust entering the atmosphere from deserts and other dry lands. Scientists measured the wavelength of light reflected from the surface at certain locations.
However, it turns out that Thanks to the project, it was also possible to monitor more than 50 so-called supernatural methane in Central Asia, the Middle East and the southwestern United States. The outer areas include oil installations and large landfills.
Some of the methane groups identified by the researchers were Bigger than anything observed so far.
The project made it possible to detect, among other things A column of methane gas at least 4.8 kilometers south of Tehran, IranFrom a large waste processing complex. Up to 8.5 thousand can be issued here. kilograms of methane every hour.
The device also captured the block 12 so-called gas columns originating from the oil and gas infrastructure located east of the coastal city of Hazar on the shores of the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan. Some of the lines even stretched beyond 32 km. According to estimates, at this point, methane can leak into the atmosphere at an increased rate 50 thousand kilograms per hour.
On one of the largest oil fields in In the state of New Mexico, in the United States, a 3.3 km long column of methane has formed, which is responsible for the emission of more than 18 thousand. kilograms of methane per hour.
By orbiting the Earth once every 90 minutes, EMIT is able to scan a large area while simultaneously focusing on areas of much smaller area, such as a football field, for example.
Reducing methane emissions is the key to reducing global warming. This exciting advance will not only help scientists pinpoint the source of the methane leak, but will also provide insight into how to quickly deal with it. EMIT is proving to be an important tool in our toolkit for measuring this powerful greenhouse gas – and keeping it at the source – Comments by Bill Nelson of NASA.
Project researchers plan to make further measurements of methane emissions in arid regions of Africa, Asia, North and South America, and Australia. The data they collect will help understand the role of airborne dust particles in heating and cooling the atmosphere as well as the Earth’s surface.
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