Satellite spotted a large plume of methane leaking from one of Pakistan’s largest cities last Month.
The cloud was seen over Lahore on Aug 6 and had an emissions rate of about 126 metric tons of methane an hour, according to an estimate from geoanalytics firm kayrros SAS. That amount of the greenhouse gas would have roughly the same short-term climate warming impact as the annual emissions of 6,200 cars in the U.K. A second, similar plume was seen above the city on Aug 31, emitting about 39 tons of methane an hours.
Methane is a super-potent greenhouse gas, with more than 80 times the warning impact of carbon dioxide over two decades. That’s one reason scientists have been calling for rapid cuts to methane emissions in a bid to slow down climates change.
While many large methane leaks come from a relatively easily identified source, such as Oil and gas infrastructure, it’s difficult to pinpoint the origins of the ones in Lahore. other sources of Methane include cattle farming, rice production and waste management.
“These kinds of events around cities are very difficult to find the origin of,” said a spokesperson for kayrros. accumulate into methane clouds.”
Lahore has a history of these kinds of leaks. Since the beginning of 2019, Kayrros has analyzed dozens of methane clouds spotted around the city. Kayrros uses data collected by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5P satellite.
One potential source could be Lakhodair Landfill in the Northeast part of the city, said Barm Maaskkers, a researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Space Research who also uses Sential 5-P’s data to hone in an global methane hot spots.