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Methane Alert and Response System


Recently the United Nations (UN) has decided to set up a satellite-based monitoring system “MARS: Methane Alert and Response System” for tracking methane emissions and alerting governments and corporations to respond.


Facts for prelims

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Methane Alert and Response System (MARS)
  2. Objectives
  3. Working of MARS

About Methane Alert and Response System (MARS)

  • The MARS initiative is intended to strengthen the efforts to cut methane emissions.
  • The MARS was launched at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
  • 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.


  • MARS will integrate data from a large number of existing and future satellites that have the ability to detect methane emission events anywhere in the world, and send out notifications to the relevant stakeholders to act on it.
  • MARS will track the large point emission sources, mainly in the fossil fuel industry, but with time, would be able to detect emissions from coal, waste, livestock and rice fields as well.

Working of MARS

  • Beginning with very large point sources from the energy sector, MARS will integrate data from the rapidly expanding system of methane-detecting satellites to include lower-emitting area sources and more frequent detection.
  • Data on coal, waste, livestock and rice will be added gradually to MARS to support Global Methane Pledge implementation.
  • MARS will use data from global mapping satellites to identify very large methane plumes and methane hot spots and data from high-resolution satellites to attribute the emissions to a specific source.
  • UNEP will then notify governments and companies about the emissions, either directly or through partners, so that the responsible entity can take appropriate action.
  • If requested, MARS partners will provide technical or advisory services such as help in assessing mitigation opportunities.
  • UNEP will continue to monitor the event location and make the data and analysis available to the public between 45 and 75 days after detection.

-Source: Indian Express


February 2024