Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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Professor Kort comments on greenhouse gas plume-spotting satellite for Scientific American

Posted: March 9, 2018

Professor Kort comments on greenhouse gas plume-spotting satellite for Scientific American

Climate & Space Assistant Professor Eric Kort recently spoke with Scientific American about a new space-based system to help identify specific sources of greenhouse gas emissions. 

The primary satellite in the network, called the Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (Tropomi), was launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) in October. The spacecaft uses state-of-the-art sensors to map the plumes of methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and other aerosols over industrial facilities and cities as it circled the globe.

Tromomi was constructed to eventually be able to map emissions every 24 hours, and to show pollutants in a much higher resolution. The satellite has also been sharing information with Claire, another leak-detecting satellite launched in 2016 by Montreal-based GHGSat Inc

From the article: 

'...Eric Kort, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Michigan, said that “the scientific community is quite excited that the Tropomi information will be useful,” but he added that GHGSat has not released enough public information to convince him that Claire, its smaller, more precisely focused satellite, works.

“I hope that they get there, because I think it will be interesting. Tropomi has opened a new kind of window on the world,” Kort said. He noted that in January, NASA announced that it hopes to enlarge its data gathering on Earth’s emissions in the early 2020s, by launching a satellite it calls the Geostationary Carbon Observatory, or “GeoCarb.”'

Read the full article here: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/meet-the-satellites-that-can-pinpoint-methane-and-carbon-dioxide-leaks/