Researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON) used satellite data to track down the places on Earth where the most methane (CH4) is being emitted. A number of landfills appear to be major emitters of methane, one of the most important greenhouse gases after carbon dioxide.
For example, researchers have discovered that a garbage dump in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, emits 28 tons of methane per hour. According to scientists, the consequences for the climate are comparable to the consequences of 1.5 million cars. Also in India and Pakistan, some landfills emit several or even tens of tons of methane per hour.
Researchers tracked landfills by mapping cities with the most emissions. They did this using TROPOMI, a sophisticated Dutch-made measuring instrument mounted on a satellite. Buenos Aires, Delhi, Lahore and Mumbai, among other countries, came out on top. Further investigations showed that landfills are responsible for a large portion of the emissions.
easy to solve
“Methane is odorless and colorless, so it’s hard to see where it’s leaking,” researcher Bram Maskers explains. But according to him it is possible with satellite. He calls garbage dumps hanging fruit. In other words, it is one of the problems in the climate crisis that is easy to solve.
“For example, you can separate the organic waste and compost it so that much less methane is released,” says Maasakkers. …and if you mix up all the waste anyway, you can still collect or ignite the resulting methane. ”
But he points out that treating methane alone is not enough to slow global warming.
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