London: Researchers have developed a new camera that can photograph and film methane in the air.
It can be an important part of the efforts to measure and monitor greenhouse gases, according to researchers from Linkoping University and Stockholm University in Sweden.
"The camera is very sensitive, which means that the methane is both visible and measurable close to ground level, with much higher resolution than previously. Being able to measure on a small scale is crucial," said study leader Magnus Galfalk from Linkoping University.
The advanced hyperspectral infrared camera weighs 35 kilos and measures 50x45x25 centimetres. It is optimised to measure the same radiation that methane absorbs and which makes methane such a powerful greenhouse gas.
The camera can be used to measure emissions from many environments including sewage sludge deposits, combustion processes, animal husbandry and lakes.
For each pixel in the image the camera records a high-resolution spectrum, which makes it possible to quantify the methane separately from the other gases.
"This gives us new possibilities for mapping and monitoring methane sources and sinks, and it will help us understand how methane emissions are regulated and how we can reduce emissions," said principal investigator David Bastviken from Linkoping University.
The study was published in Nature Climate Change.