The Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) was launched at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
What is Methane Alert and Response System (MARS)?
- The Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) is a satellite-based system that enables governments to detect methane emissions and take measures to address them.
- This data-to-action platform is part of the global endeavour to tackle climate change by curbing greenhouse emissions.
- It was set up as part of the United Nations Environment Programme’s International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO) strategy to gain policy-relevant data required for mitigating emissions.
- This will be the first publicly available global system connecting methane detection with the notification processes transparently.
- It will use state-of-the-art satellite data to detect and identify notable greenhouse emission events and notify concerned stakeholders. This data will also be used for supporting and tracking the progress of the mitigation efforts.
- If requested, MARS partners will provide technical or advisory services like assessing mitigation opportunities available in specific regions.
About methane and its role in climate change
Methane accounts for only a minuscule portion of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. However, it is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping atmospheric heat. According to the study by the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), there are 50 “super-emitters” of methane gas in central Asia, west Asia and the southwestern United States.
The Global Methane Pledge aims to bring down methane emissions by at least 30 per cent by 2030 to maintain the 1.5°C temperature limit. Participants of this pledge have set a global emissions target to voluntarily take actions to minimise methane emissions by at least 30 per cent from 2020 levels by the end of this decade. This could eliminate some 0.2°C warming by 2050