Two postdoctoral positions: Satellite CH4 detection from space

University of Reims Champagne Ardenne (URCA) and the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE), France
Closing date not provided

The Atmospheric and Molecular Spectroscopy Group (GSMA) part of the University of Reims Champagne Ardenne (URCA) and the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE), partnering with Kayrros Inc., are looking for two motivated postdocs / young scientists as part of a joint project dedicated to the development of atmospheric modeling systems and statistical tools and to their application to spaceborne measurements to detect, attribute, and quantify methane (CH4) emissions from Oil and Gas operations. The research focuses on high-resolution satellite imagery (Sentinel-2, PRISMA, …) combined with medium-resolution data from Sentinel-5P (TROPOMI).

New sensors and satellites are coming online every year, with a rapid expansion of the amount of available CH4 images for the quantification of leaks from oil and gas activities. However,  new modeling tools are needed to exploit these new types of CH4 images or the complementarity between the different types of sensors. Statistical analyses of the leaks could provide additional information to better understand their origins, and eventually help to design cost-effective mitigation policies. The main goals of the Methane Watch project are to (1) build the next generation of modeling systems to extract information from CH4 images collected by these new sensors, able to improve detection, attribution and quantification of CH4 plumes from Oil and Gas operations, and to (2) analyze statistically these emitters, deriving performance indicators for end-users such as policy makers.

URCA and LSCE seek two postdoctoral researchers (or early-career scientists) in this project. The first position will focus on designing tools to process CH4 images at high-resolution, using atmospheric models at high resolution (Large Eddy Simulation), advanced machine learning techniques, or both. The goal is to estimate precisely the magnitude of the leaks based on satellite images of CH4 plumes (column mole fractions) from Sentinel-2, PRISMA, or Landsat-8, combined with Sentinel-5P. The second position will aim at characterizing the origins of the sources, their spatial and temporal distributions, combining data from Oil and Gas assets with information on large CH4 emitters. These two positions are closely related, working as a team to produce a comprehensive study on large emitters from Oil and Gas activities.