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  • Julie Wornan

Saving Our Planet using Climate Trace


The euphoria of the Paris agreement of 2015 laid down a set of goals within certain timescales. Countries were to establish their own plans to reduce Greenhouse Gasses, the cause of worldwide climate disruption. These plans are called Nationally Determined Commitments or NDCs. Over time, as progress was expected, these goals were to be enhanced with increased “ambition”.


Since Paris as the years passed, some plans were made, many western countries chose intermittent energy to replace fossil fuel. In some cases, large amounts of money were and continues to be spent, but the goals not met, agreements are not enforced, data is often not recent or incomplete. Ideology often trumps science, and the planetary quantity of GHGs continues to rise. Policy is defined through lobbying, and accountability is avoided. Can the worlds’ countries exit this dead end in a timescale that leaves some hope? Possibly.


Climate Trace , https://climatetrace.org/

is a new project with a goal to create a comprehensive, highly detailed, up to date map of exactly where all global emissions are coming from, and who is producing them. Data is continuously updated.


How does it work? Measurements are captured from satellites and thousands of sensors based on land, in the sea and in the sky – data that’s never been seen before. Climate Trace uses AI to verify the data and identify patterns so decision makers will have all the information they need to make informed choices to reduce emissions.


There’s already a comprehensive inventory of emissions from every country with detailed emissions data from specific industries. Over time, it’ll be able to monitor power plants, feed lots, airports, landfills, almost anything and everything that is creating the emissions that are driving the climate crisis.


No more relying on self reporting. No more waiting years to see if reductions are actually happening. And most importantly, accountability and transparency will be difficult to avoid.


Climate Trace may be the ultimate tool to battle emissions, and it’s being built by experts in climate science and technology teeming up. The best of today’s technology is being brought to the fight.


Climate Trace will be able to provide transparent emissions estimates on a monthly, weekly, and possibly even daily basis. Undoubtably, seasonal wind calms in some regions will show the limitations of some intermittent technology.


Increasingly, scientific attention is being broadened to look in more detail at methane and nitrous oxide and their effects on the physics and chemistry of weather. Being able to locate the quantities and locations of these gasses will greatly improve the outcomes of these activities. The EU is currently financing a four-year project to upgrade the climate models to include these gasses. With Climate Trace, the invisible is becoming visible. This data and methods to interrogate it are expected to be available to anyone at any time.


An example: In oil and gas production and refining, among the world’s top countries that submit regular inventories, emissions from oil and gas may collectively be more than double (1.4 billion tons higher than) recent reports. Further, it is likely that over 1 billion additional tons CO2e and its equivaqlent per year—more than the annual emissions of the 100 lowest-ranking emitting countries combined—have gone uncounted by countries that aren't required to report their oil and gas emissions regularly.


Saving Our Planet will be actively monitoring Climate Trace for both new data sets some of which we might recommend and new functionality, and of course, “GHG movement” in positive or negative directions. Check our web site regularly for the latest news.


-Bob Wornan


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