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Methane leaks from offshore oil rigs are normally hard to spot from space but a technique called “glint mode” now makes it possible

Environment

28 September 2022

Water makes it hard to detect methane leaks from spaceChris Graythen/Getty Images
A satellite monitoring technique that uses the reflection of the sun makes it possible to detect methane leaks from offshore oil rigs from space.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas about 80 times more efficient than carbon dioxide at trapping heat. The amount of methane in the atmosphere has more than doubled since pre-industrial levels, largely from human sources like livestock, landfills and oil and gas production.
Along with airplanes and ground-based sensors, a growing constellation of satellites monitor methane plumes …

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