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Google joins a mission to map global methane emissions from space

A rendering of a satellite orbiting over Earth. It appears to scan the planet beneath it, projecting a map of different colors representing methane emissions.
A rendering of MethaneSat | Image courtesy of Google

Google announced a partnership with the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today to map methane pollution and oil and gas infrastructure from space.

Google and EDF hope to be able to pinpoint where much of those methane emissions are leaking from — which could perhaps help put a plug in those leaks. Next month, EDF plans to launch its MethaneSAT, a satellite that will track emissions of methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, Google is using AI to map oil and gas infrastructure to create a global map of pollution sources.

“Infrastructure changes rapidly, and keeping a map like this up to date requires constant…

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