May 2, 2022
Satellites able to detect methane from cattle burps in California state, US
Satellites have detected methane emissions from cattle burps at a farm in California state, US, the first time emissions from livestock could be measured from space, Reuters reported.
GHGSat, an environmental data company, analysed data from its satellites and detected the source of methane emissions from a feedlot in Joaquin Valley, Bakersfield, California.
Livestock emissions are a major component of agricultural methane.
GHGSat said this is noteworthy because agricultural methane emissions are difficult to measure, and an accurate measurement is needed to impose an enforceable reduction target for the beef-production sector.
The company said the methane it detected from that California feedlot could total 5,116 tonnes of emissions if left for one year, adding that over 15,000 homes could be powered if the methane was captured.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said agriculture contributes 9.6% to greenhouse gas emissions in the country and about 36% of methane emissions, largely from livestock.
US President Joe Biden's administration said it is planning to reduce methane emissions from the economy late last year.
The EPA announced regulations targeting existing oil and gas sources that require companies to detect and repair methane leaks. The US Agriculture Department announced a voluntary incentive programme for farmers.