SkyTruth’s flaring maps show satellite detections of natural gas flaring across the entire planet.
Where does the data come from?
The data for this map was originally made available by NOAA’s Earth Observation Group. As of 15 October 2019, the data is now freely-available from Earth Observation Group (EOG), Payne Inst. for Public Policy, Colorado School of Mines.
How does flaring volume get estimated?
The Earth Observation Group have authored the following papers for those interested in the VIIRS instrument and how the flare volume is calculated.
Elvidge, C. D., Zhizhin, M., Hsu, F-C., & Baugh, K. (2013). VIIRS Nightfire: Satellite Pyrometry at Night. Remote Sensing 5(9), 4423-4449.
Elvidge, C. D., Zhizhin, M., Baugh, K. E, Hsu, F-C., & Ghosh, T. (2015). Methods for Global Survey of Natural Gas flaring from Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite Data. Energies, 9(1), 1-15.
Elvidge, C. D., Bazilian, M. D., Zhizhin, M., Ghosh, T., Baugh, K., & Hsu, F-C (2018). The Potential Role of Natural Gas Flaring in Meeting Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Targets. Energy Strategy Reviews, 20, 156-162.
How does the map data get processed?
What are the applications/uses for this map?
Applications for this map include:
Verified on the ground by a team we sent out North Dakota’s Bakken Shale and further cross-referenced against aerial and satellite imagery of other flaring hotspots such as Russia, Africa, and the Middle East, this map is updated daily to show the frequency of infrared detections hot enough to be gas flares.
I’m not seeing a flaring detection I expected to see. Why not?
If you don’t see a flaring detection you expected to see, it may be because of the ways that we process and present the flaring data. Some flares don’t burn hot enough to be included in our dataset, they may not have been burning when the satellite passed overhead, the flare may not be frequent enough to make it past the 3 detection threshold, heavy clouds have obscured the flare from the sensor, etc.
SkyTruth has updated its Annual Flare Volume map to include 2017 and 2018 data. SkyTruth’s map allows users to search the data by virtually any geographic area they’re interested in, then easily compare and download flare volume totals from 2012 through 2018 to observe trends.