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Highly accurate location of the sources and dispersion of greenhouse gases via archival hyperspectral imaging should be guiding remediation.



Enormous archives of high resolution satellite imagery are growing at an incredible pace.  The wealth of information locked inside them is almost entirely unused.  Its ironic because properly applied these data could provide vital information about the sources and dispersion of greenhouse gases worldwide.  While the reach of the data is global the positional accuracy can be sub-meter.  This granular capability together with attendant GIS opens the way to very detailed, identification of both the places and the agents of the emanations.  Not only that, it allows for the mapping of the dispersion of the agents of climate change. The use of this information should be in both the implementation of remediation efforts and also the analysis of the effectiveness of those efforts - systematically.  In other words, the montoring and analysis should be automatic, not manual.     

Category of the action


What actions do you propose?

Who will take these actions?

Where will these actions be taken?

What are other key benefits?

Climate change is a global and immediate problem.  Despite this we largely rely on limited scope, one-off and small bore studies to monitor, analyze and propose solution to the issue.  We have at our disposal a global, high definition, constantly refreshed resource that we are using over limited areas, with low accuracy and sporatically.

The establishment of a worldwide, constantly updated dataset, accompanied by the proper tools builds a platform on which to overcome the parochial approach that is retarding the necessary progress in monitoring and analysis of the causes and effects of climate change.


What are the proposal’s costs?

First, the majority of the cost is already being paid.  The satellites are ubiquitous.  The imagery is literally raining down on us.  It is the utilization of the imagery that is lacking.  Second, the facilities and the software to do the analysis already exist.  Third, the geospatial professionals with the knowledge to properly conduct and interpret the analysis already exist.  Nevertheless there are fundamental problems.  Much of these existing facilities and personnel are considered sensitive and restricted by concerns over national and international security.  Nevertheless it is still true that the imagery required is publically available.  Therefore, while the infrastructure to do the sort of montoring and analysis already exist, it would probably have to be built again for the purpose proposed.  The cost would be approximately $3M

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