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View Diary: Shale oil showers brings gas fires (96 comments)

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  •  I ask questions because they are instrumental (2+ / 0-)
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    6412093, elwior

    in the search for truth.

    I'm not questioning claims that hydrocarbon flaring operations at oil production sites goes on extensively
    in North Dakota.

    What I am questioning is the claim that solely on the basis of visible spectra satellite imagery data...what is presently being depicted in photos in the diary....that a conclusion can be made that the visible light features in the photos depicted
    demonstrate a case that the light depicted was primarily/solely from flaring and not from overall petroleum exploration site lighting features----such exploration/production sites tend to be well lit.

    What I am trying to figure out is whether the group that is using NASA satellite data to make quantitative estimations of
    annual standard cubic feet of natural gas flared is using any visible spectrum NASA imagery at make these claims.   I'd like to learn more about exactly what method developed by what model does that group makes their estimates of annual volumes of natural gas flared.   In the event that only IR methods and imagery is utilized, and not visible spectrum imagery.....I think that point needs to be clarified because doing so helps any user of the data and the projections of gas flaring it shows.    

    Any method of prediction of natural gas combustion from flaring based on satellite imagery and thus detection of electromagnetic radiation must depend on some type of a model that makes assumptions about heat release from open air combustion of natural gas (thus my question about IR data and not visible data) or release of light in the visible spectra.   Any model confronting the problem of
    light generation in petroleum exploration operations will have to address light generation from both natural gas combustion and from the extensive electric lighting present.

    When a user of a model makes use of the data generated by application of a model it is always an appropriate act of
    scientific and engineering stewardship to evaluate the model, whether model algorithm provides results which are accurate, able to be replicated and are otherwise scientifically defensible.

    I ask these questions because I've seen a lot of imagery from NASA's MODIS platforms on the Aqua and Terra satellite show active burning locations which always include forest fires, but will also sometime indicate industrial sources, like molten slag pits at steel mill sites.

    When discussing the products of visible spectrum satellite imagery data from NASA....I think a fair question of satellite data interpretation is a proper one to raise.   The diary cites the visible light pictures as the evidence of the existence of a claim that the light seen is from flaring and not from other types of industrial lighting commonly present at these sites.   That claim may or may not have anything to do with whatever model method is actually used by that group to quantify annual natural gas combustion from flaring.   My questioning is based on my experience that dramatic claims have to be explainable, and that is always part of the search for truth.

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