Inspenet, November 18, 2023.
The Canadian emissions monitoring company, GHGSat , launched a satellite called Vanguard, with the aim of detecting for the first time from space carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from specific facilities such as coal plants and steel mills.
The launch was carried out from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, as reported by GHGSat. This space technology is increasingly being used to hold polluting industries accountable for their contributions to climate change.
The data collected by GHGSat is available for sale , both to industrial emitters interested in reducing their emissions and to governments and scientists.
Vanguard will build on the expanding network of satellites that are already detecting plumes of methane, a greenhouse gas that is difficult to identify due to its invisibility as it tends to escape from a variety of small sources, such as pipelines, drilling sites and farms. As for CO 2 , which makes up almost 80% of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the United States, it is typically released into the atmosphere from large-scale industrial sources, such as power plants.
Satellites currently used to monitor carbon dioxide in the atmosphere do not focus on specific emissions at the facility level, according to GHGSat. The data provided by Vanguard will help inform standard practices for tracking and measuring carbon dioxide emissions, according to Stéphane Germain, the CEO of Montreal-based GHGSat.
Satellites have shown that methane emissions far exceed estimates and according to Germain, there is a suspicion that this situation also applies to carbon dioxide. The data will help improve the accuracy of government emissions inventories as well as scientific models, and raise the quality of corporate greenhouse gas reporting to investors, according to GHGSat.
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