"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 centimeters. 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.

The study was published in Nature Climate Change.