Methane Alert and Response System (MARS)

  • IASbaba
  • November 16, 2022
  • 0
Environment & Ecology
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In News: The Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) was launched at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

About MARS:

  • A new satellite-based system to detect methane emissions and tackle them to slow climate change.
  • The data-to-action platform was set up as part of the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO) strategy to get policy-relevant data into the right hands for emissions mitigation.
  • The system will be the first publicly available global system to connect methane detection to notification processes transparently.
  • It will use state-of-the-art satellite data to identify significant emission events, notify relevant stakeholders, and support and track mitigation progress.
  • MARS partners will also provide technical or advisory services, such as help in assessing mitigation opportunities.
  • UNEP will monitor the event location and make the data and analysis available to the public between 45 and 75 days after detection.

About Methane:

  • Methane is a short-lived climate pollutant like hydrofluorocarbons and stays in the Earth’s atmosphere for a few years, unlike carbon dioxide.
  • Methane is the second-most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, after carbon dioxide
  • Methane is an 80 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide at trapping atmospheric heat in the 20 years following its release.
  • Methane has contributed to about one-third of the current anthropogenic greenhouse gas-driven warming.
  • Major sources of Methane:
  • Natural: decay of plant material in wetlands, termites, oceans, digestion of food by cattle or the seepage of gas from underground deposits.
  • Anthropogenic: landfills, oil and natural gas systems, agricultural activities, coal mining, stationary and mobile combustion, wastewater treatment, and industrial processes
  • India: Agriculture – 61%, Energy sector – 16.4%, waste – 19.8% (as per Global Methane tracker)
  • Methane enters the atmosphere due to leaks in oil and gas industries, rearing livestock and the decomposition of waste in landfills.
  • Currently, only 2 per cent of global climate finance goes to methane.
  • Global methane emissions in 2030, can be reduced by 57 per cent using available strategies and technologies. This reduction can cause lower global warming by around 0.25°C in 2050 and 0.5°C by the end of the century.


  • The global mean temperature 2022 is 1.15 degrees Celsius (°C) above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average, with a range of 1.02°C to 1.28°C.
  • Global Methane Pledge(2021): cut methane emissions by at least 30 per cent by 2030 — to keep the 1.5°C temperature limit within reach.
  • India is not a part to the pledge
  • Most emissions can be traced back to
  • As per a WMO report, past eight years are on track to be the eight warmest on record, fuelled by ever-rising greenhouse gas concentrations and accumulated heat.
  • NASA recently found 50 “super-emitters” of methane gas in central Asia, the west Asia and the southwestern United States. Most of these sites have ties with agriculture and fossil fuel industries.
  • UNEP releases the Emissions Gap Report.

Source: Down To Earth

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Which of the following statements are correct about the deposits of ‘methane hydrate’? (2019)

  1. Global warming might trigger the release of methane gas from these deposits.
  2. Large deposits of ‘methane hydrate’ are found in Arctic Tundra and under the seafloor.
  3. Methane in atmosphere oxidizes to carbon dioxide after a decade or two.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3


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