From The Council

What’s the scope of EO capabilities from space?

In their joint report ‘GHG Monitoring from Space’, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), Climate TRACE
and the World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC) show the current scope of Earth Observation capabilities from space.

Remco Takken February 14, 2022
GHG Monitoring From Space Report

This report is an outcome of the “Forum on Innovation in Remote Sensing Technologies for Accelerated Climate Action” held on 14 December 2020. It was sponsored by the UK High-Level Climate Action Champion, Nigel Topping, former the United States Vice President Al Gore, and the
Climate TRACE Initiative, together with WGIC and GEO. The report’s findings focus on EO capabilities that can directly monitor one or more of the three major Greenhouse gases (GHGs). This was done to simplify this first joint effort. Although challenges remain, technological breakthroughs are happening in remote sensing that will enable capabilities to measure GHGs fully.

Main findings

The report finds more than thirty relevant satellite missions and instruments. These are funded by public, private, or not-for-profit entities currently in orbit and planned for orbit to collect relevant GHG data. Firstly, among the key findings is that satellite observations reduce uncertainty in GHG emission monitoring. They provide data across various spatial, temporal, and spectral resolutions or scales. Secondly, government space agencies can collect national and global baseline data in a sustained manner. Their measurement availability is currently ranging into the 2040s. Thirdly, private sector companies are speedily entering the market. Together, they bring additional point source emissions monitoring capabilities for specific GHGs.

Hybrid models are increasingly emerging and leveraging respective strengths. Collaboration, innovation, and financing are critical levers for GHG monitoring from space. Added to this: open data, open science, and open knowledge are essential to driving on-the-ground solutions. Also of note: new opportunities are arising to analyze secondary remote sensing measurements with frontier IT technologies that call for transparency and capacity development.

Check out the report and find out all about GHG Monitoring From Space!