Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Environ. Sci. Technol. 2022, 56, 16567−16581



© 2022 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society


Given that anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must be immediately reduced to avoid drastic increases in global temperature, methane emissions have been placed center stage in the fight against climate change. Methane has a significantly larger warming potential than carbon dioxide. A large percentage of methane emissions are in the form of industry emissions, some of which can now be readily identified and mitigated. This review considers recent advances in methane detection that allow accurate and transparent monitoring, which are needed for reducing uncertainty in source attribution and evaluating progress in emissions reductions. A particular focus is on complementary methods operating at different scales with applications for the oil and gas industry, allowing rapid detection of large point sources and addressing inconsistencies of emissions inventories. Emerging airborne and satellite imaging spectrometers are advancing our understanding and offer new top-down assessment methods to complement bottom-up methods. Successfully merging estimates across scales is vital for increased certainty regarding greenhouse gas emissions and can inform regulatory decisions. The development of comprehensive, transparent, and spatially resolved top-down and bottom-up inventories will be crucial for holding nations accountable for their climate commitments.