Lahore Gets Covered by Massive Greenhouse Gas Plume

Satellite images have revealed that two plumes of methane (a greenhouse gas) caused by unidentified leakages engulfing major parts of Lahore last month.

The first plume was spotted on 6 August. It was a large cloud with an emission rate of 126 metric tons per hour. The second plume was spotted on 31 August. It was a relatively smaller cloud with an emission rate of 39 metric tons per hour.

According to an estimate by Kayrros SAS, a Paris-based geo analytical firm, the methane leakage in Lahore would have the same impact on the environment as the annual emissions of around 8,000 cars in the UK.

While cattle farming, rice production, and waste management are some of the sources of methane, the leakages usually result from oil and gas facilities most of the time.

However, it is extremely difficult to trace the origin of the leakages in Lahore because determining the sources of such events in congested cities consumes a lot of resources.

Not The First Time

This isn’t the first satellite imagery that has uncovered methane plumes over Lahore. Since the start of 2019, Kayrros SAS, which uses the data collected by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5P satellite, has detected over a dozen methane clouds above different areas of Lahore.

Speaking in this regard, Bram Maasakkers, a researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Space Research, has said that one potential source of methane plumes in Lahore could be the Lakhodair landfill, a sanitary landfill site located in the northeastern part of the provincial capital.

Methane from landfill sites emanates when the deposited waste decomposes in the absence of oxygen. Its plume can develop for a time before escaping into the atmosphere.

The Lakhodair landfill is operated by the Lahore Waster Management Company (LWMC), which hasn’t responded to a request for comment on Bram’s claim.

80 Times Worse for Global Warming Than Carbon Dioxide

Note that Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. Over the past two decades, methane’s impact on global warming has been 80 times more than that of carbon dioxide. This is why scientists around the world have been calling for reducing methane emissions to slow down climate change.

Last week, the US and EU joined hands to cut the methane emissions by 30% of 2020 levels by 2030. The political leadership of the US and EU is now appealing to other countries to join them voluntarily before officially announcing the pact at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference- COP 26- set to begin on 31 October.

Via: BNN Bloomberg