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Data project backed by Al Gore aims for real-time emissions monitoring

by Reuters
Thursday, 16 September 2021 07:00 GMT

An Australian commercial aircraft prepares to land in the haze at Sydney's International Airport July 15, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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Drawing on satellite data, Climate TRACE aims to show previously unrecorded greenhouse gas emissions and its precise sources

(Repeats with no changes)

By Ross Kerber

BOSTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - A technology and academic coalition backed by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore was set to unveil on Thursday data showing fossil fuel producers' previously unrecorded greenhouse gas emissions, and growing pollution from shipping and aviation.

Other details about the precise sources of climate change are also shown in the material by Climate TRACE, drawing on data from satellites and high-level computer analysis.

The data should be useful to leaders of the 100 countries that have little data on their most-polluting sectors, Gore said in an interview on Wednesday.

Among worrisome trends, oil and gas producers and refiners in developed countries may emit over a billion tons of carbon dioxide not currently being reported, the group said.

Shipping industry emissions have grown about 10% each year since 2018 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the group added.

Gore said the new data should not lead to pessimism since the additional emissions have already shown up in gauges of atmospheric carbon.

"As the old cliche has it, you can only manage what you can measure," Gore said.

The release comes ahead of the COP26 world climate conference set to start in Glasgow, Scotland on Oct. 31. Talks there are aimed to spur more ambitious commitments by countries to keep the global average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius during this century, in line with the 2015 Paris Accord.

Climate TRACE's name invokes its goal of 'Tracking Real-time Atmospheric Carbon Emissions." The coalition grew from a Google.org grant that funded the measurement of power plant emissions from space, it said in a statement.

Providers of satellite data for the project include Planet Labs Inc, NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploratory Agency. Other coalition members include geospatial data company Blue Sky Analytics, research organization CarbonPlan, and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

(Reporting by Ross Kerber in Boston; Additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici in Washington, D.C.; Editing by Richard Chang)

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