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Nature ; 575(7781): 180-184, 2019 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31695210


Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and is targeted for emissions mitigation by the US state of California and other jurisdictions worldwide1,2. Unique opportunities for mitigation are presented by point-source emitters-surface features or infrastructure components that are typically less than 10 metres in diameter and emit plumes of highly concentrated methane3. However, data on point-source emissions are sparse and typically lack sufficient spatial and temporal resolution to guide their mitigation and to accurately assess their magnitude4. Here we survey more than 272,000 infrastructure elements in California using an airborne imaging spectrometer that can rapidly map methane plumes5-7. We conduct five campaigns over several months from 2016 to 2018, spanning the oil and gas, manure-management and waste-management sectors, resulting in the detection, geolocation and quantification of emissions from 564 strong methane point sources. Our remote sensing approach enables the rapid and repeated assessment of large areas at high spatial resolution for a poorly characterized population of methane emitters that often appear intermittently and stochastically. We estimate net methane point-source emissions in California to be 0.618 teragrams per year (95 per cent confidence interval 0.523-0.725), equivalent to 34-46 per cent of the state's methane inventory8 for 2016. Methane 'super-emitter' activity occurs in every sector surveyed, with 10 per cent of point sources contributing roughly 60 per cent of point-source emissions-consistent with a study of the US Four Corners region that had a different sectoral mix9. The largest methane emitters in California are a subset of landfills, which exhibit persistent anomalous activity. Methane point-source emissions in California are dominated by landfills (41 per cent), followed by dairies (26 per cent) and the oil and gas sector (26 per cent). Our data have enabled the identification of the 0.2 per cent of California's infrastructure that is responsible for these emissions. Sharing these data with collaborating infrastructure operators has led to the mitigation of anomalous methane-emission activity10.

Monitoramento Ambiental , Metano/análise , Gerenciamento de Resíduos , California , Efeito Estufa , Esterco , Metano/química , Metano/metabolismo , Gás Natural , Indústria de Petróleo e Gás/métodos , Petróleo , Águas Residuárias
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 113(35): 9734-9, 2016 08 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27528660


Methane (CH4) impacts climate as the second strongest anthropogenic greenhouse gas and air quality by influencing tropospheric ozone levels. Space-based observations have identified the Four Corners region in the Southwest United States as an area of large CH4 enhancements. We conducted an airborne campaign in Four Corners during April 2015 with the next-generation Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (near-infrared) and Hyperspectral Thermal Emission Spectrometer (thermal infrared) imaging spectrometers to better understand the source of methane by measuring methane plumes at 1- to 3-m spatial resolution. Our analysis detected more than 250 individual methane plumes from fossil fuel harvesting, processing, and distributing infrastructures, spanning an emission range from the detection limit [Formula: see text] 2 kg/h to 5 kg/h through [Formula: see text] 5,000 kg/h. Observed sources include gas processing facilities, storage tanks, pipeline leaks, and well pads, as well as a coal mine venting shaft. Overall, plume enhancements and inferred fluxes follow a lognormal distribution, with the top 10% emitters contributing 49 to 66% to the inferred total point source flux of 0.23 Tg/y to 0.39 Tg/y. With the observed confirmation of a lognormal emission distribution, this airborne observing strategy and its ability to locate previously unknown point sources in real time provides an efficient and effective method to identify and mitigate major emissions contributors over a wide geographic area. With improved instrumentation, this capability scales to spaceborne applications [Thompson DR, et al. (2016) Geophys Res Lett 43(12):6571-6578]. Further illustration of this potential is demonstrated with two detected, confirmed, and repaired pipeline leaks during the campaign.

Astrobiology ; 15(11): 961-76, 2015 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26575217


UNLABELLED: A new generation of planetary rover instruments, such as PIXL (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry) and SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals) selected for the Mars 2020 mission rover payload, aim to map mineralogical and elemental composition in situ at microscopic scales. These instruments will produce large spectral cubes with thousands of channels acquired over thousands of spatial locations, a large potential science yield limited mainly by the time required to acquire a measurement after placement. A secondary bottleneck also faces mission planners after downlink; analysts must interpret the complex data products quickly to inform tactical planning for the next command cycle. This study demonstrates operational approaches to overcome these bottlenecks by specialized early-stage science data processing. Onboard, simple real-time systems can perform a basic compositional assessment, recognizing specific features of interest and optimizing sensor integration time to characterize anomalies. On the ground, statistically motivated visualization can make raw uncalibrated data products more interpretable for tactical decision making. Techniques such as manifold dimensionality reduction can help operators comprehend large databases at a glance, identifying trends and anomalies in data. These onboard and ground-side analyses can complement a quantitative interpretation. We evaluate system performance for the case study of PIXL, an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer. Experiments on three representative samples demonstrate improved methods for onboard and ground-side automation and illustrate new astrobiological science capabilities unavailable in previous planetary instruments. KEY WORDS: Dimensionality reduction-Planetary science-Visualization.

Exobiologia/instrumentação , Fluorescência , Raios X
Nature ; 521(7552): 328-31, 2015 May 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25993962


Type Ia supernovae are destructive explosions of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs. Although they are used empirically to measure cosmological distances, the nature of their progenitors remains mysterious. One of the leading progenitor models, called the single degenerate channel, hypothesizes that a white dwarf accretes matter from a companion star and the resulting increase in its central pressure and temperature ignites thermonuclear explosion. Here we report observations with the Swift Space Telescope of strong but declining ultraviolet emission from a type Ia supernova within four days of its explosion. This emission is consistent with theoretical expectations of collision between material ejected by the supernova and a companion star, and therefore provides evidence that some type Ia supernovae arise from the single degenerate channel.