The most severe cloud of methane detected in Australia in more than a year was spotted last month by satellite over one of the country’s top coal producing regions. The Oct. 17 plume was observed over the Bowen Basin in Queensland state and had an estimated emissions rate of 76 metric tons of methane an hour, according to Kayrros SAS, which analyzed observations from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5P satellite. The geoanalytics company said that given the high concentration of mines in the plume’s vicinity and its shape, it could have originated from multiple sources. “Intermittent methane releases from underground mines, such as the ones mentioned, are a part of normal operations,’’ Australia’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources said in an emailed response to questions. The agency is implementing a methane accounting system using Sentinel data “to assess the implications of methane releases, such as the one […]