Sustainable Development Seminar: Aaron Davitt (


Past Event

Sustainable Development Seminar: Aaron Davitt (

December 5, 2022
4:10 PM - 5:40 PM
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801 IAB

Speaker: Aaron Davitt

Title: Climate TRACE - Tracking Real time Atmospheric Carbon Emissions: How remote sensing, artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing how we approach the climate crisis.

Quasi-abstract from here:

For decades, climate scientists have been able to measure Earths total level of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. Yet no global system exists to objectively trace emissions to particular sources. Today even the most high-stakes attempts to trace where emissions come from such as the UN global stocktake of the Paris Agreement mainly rely on self-reported proxy data that can be years out of date and inaccurate. To move faster on climate change, a third-party, objective system is needed. Climate TRACE is a global coalition of NGOs, non-profits, private sectors, and academia making meaningful climate action faster and easier. The coalition tracks human-caused emissions to specific sources and provides independent, transparent, and accessible information to the worlds governments, NGOs, private sectors, and citizens. Climate TRACE uses a combination of satellite imagery, machine learning, and/or statistical models to measure GHG emissions. The sectors currently being monitored include energy, oil and gas, transportation, shipping, aviation, forests, biomass fires, mining and quarrying, manufacturing (steel, aluminum, and cement), buildings, and agriculture (fertilizer and rice emissions). Climate TRACE produces emissions estimates annually for the 2015 to 2020 time period for each sector. This provides timely estimates whereas current emission inventories (i.e., UNFCCC, EDGAR) have a time lag in reporting. Additionally, Climate TRACE emission estimates for each sector support some individual countries emissions reports while highlighting discrepancies in others. Future Climate TRACE goals include: 1) providing more granular GHG estimates both spatially and temporally and 2) expand sector coverage, such as peatland and livestock emissions. The Climate TRACE coalition welcomes collaboration from any organization interested in helping with this effort to improve global GHG monitoring.