Methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are the two dominant anthropogenic (human-generated) climate-forcing agents. Additionally, CH4 is relevant to air-quality science and applications: CH4 is a precursor for tropospheric ozone and is strongly linked with co-emitted reactive trace gases that can impact human health.
Carbon Mapper is designed to detect at least 80% of high emission CH4 and CO2 point sources on the planet through a combination of sensitivity, moderate spatial coverage (high priority regions), and daily to weekly sampling provided by our constellation of multiple satellites. In doing so, Carbon Mapper will contribute to an emerging international system of systems – other satellites and surface-based monitoring systems that will collectively provide global situational awareness of CH4 and CO2 emissions for many applications.
In preparation for the satellite’s initial launch in 2023, the Asner Lab’s Global Airborne Observatory is conducting missions to track methane and capture other potential satellite and algorithm applications. A team at Asner Lab is working to craft algorithms to identify the various targets using GAO’s collected data.