Emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, will increase in 2023

Emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, will increase in 2023

“MethaneSat separation confirmed.” On March 5, in the mid-afternoon, it was announced live that a washing machine-sized satellite had been placed into orbit. Separated from a SpaceX launcher. Developed by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a non-profit organization, this device should identify methane emissions from oil and gas sites that are not detected by other satellites.

“MethaneSAT’s greatest strength is its ability to accurately measure methane levels, with high resolution, over large areas, including smaller, dispersed sources.”explained Stephen Hamburg, Scientific Director of EDF. From 2025, the data collected must be published.

Will this new “eye” launched into space help reduce methane emissions from fossil fuel activities? according to New edition of the IEA report (IEA) on this topic, published on Wednesday 13 March, these strong greenhouse gas emissions remain at their current levels “Very high standard” To achieve climate goals.

Ten countries are responsible for two-thirds of global emissions

In 2023, the production and use of fossil fuels generated about 120 million tons of methane emissions, a slight increase compared to 2022 and close to the record level of 2019. The use of biomass, especially wood for cooking, is an energy source. An additional 10 million tons.

According to the IEA report, titled “Global Methane Monitor 2024,” ten countries are responsible for two-thirds of global emissions (80 million tons). The United States, a major oil and gas producer, is the country that emits the most methane associated with oil and gas operations, ahead of Russia. China is by far the largest emitter of coal-related methane.

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Surprisingly, the document also reveals a 50% increase, compared to 2022, in cases of large amounts of methane leaks. In Kazakhstan in particular, an explosion at the beginning of June 2023, followed by a fire in an oil and gas field, caused a leak that remained active for more than two hundred days, and is considered one of the largest leaks in history. The authors of the IEA report specify that this increase can be explained by a greater number of major leaks, rather than by improved detection.

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