Public Beta
  • Development of model fundamentals and priors
  • Beta launch: Initial analysis and call for feedback
  • Model calibration and feedback implementation
  • Australian Methane Map development
  • Coming 2024
  • Methane Data Explorer development
  • Open Methane full version launch

Methodology Overview

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Open Methane methodology - showing all the layers that make up the system
Professor Peter Rayner
Professor Peter Rayner
Science Lead

Introducing a new model for improving our view of methane

See an overview of the Open Methane methodology.

Establishing an Initial Estimate of Australia's Emissions

To establish an initial estimate of Australia's methane emissions, we combine data from the Australian Government's National Methane Inventory with land use data and other relevant information.

Incorporating Atmospheric Conditions

Wind speed and direction, as well as atmospheric conditions, influence the distribution of methane throughout the atmosphere.

By employing a Weather Forecast Model (WRF) and Atmospheric Pollution Model (CMAQ), we develop a prediction of methane transportation in the atmosphere.

Calculating Australia's Expected Atmospheric Concentrations

By integrating our Initial Emissions Estimate (Step 1) with the Atmospheric Pollution Model (Step 2), we create a map indicating expected atmospheric concentrations of methane

This visualisation reflects the amount of methane contained in each cubic metre of air across Australia, averaged through the atmosphere.

Gathering Satellite Observations

Satellites equipped with methane-detection capabilities map the methane concentration above each point of Australia. These readings may be influenced by atmospheric visibility issues, such as cloud cover.

Detecting Unexpected Concentrations

Unexpected methane concentrations emerge when comparing satellite-measured atmospheric concentrations (Step 4) against model-produced expected concentration data (Step 3).

Discrepancies highlight anomalies to the initial emissions estimate, and appear as methane 'events' on Open Methane.

Tracing Emissions and Corrections

To pinpoint the emissions corresponding to the concentration discrepancies, we operate the Atmospheric Pollution Model (like in step 3) but in reverse.

Refining the Emissions Estimate

Our corrections yield an improved picture of Australia's methane emissions. These improved estimates can be observed and compared using the Open Methane Map and Data Tool.

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Open Methane aims to achieve the following goals

About Us
Foster consensus around the true state of Australia's methane emissions
Establish a national framework & commitment to reduce methane
Limit and mitigate methane emissions
Provide analysis and information to inform policy choices that accelerate Australia's zero carbon transformation
About Us
Coming in 2024

Open Methane — Full Version

Australian methane map

Access a daily emissions and methane concentration map of the Australian continent. Search and filter by time, places of interest, land use, trends and events.


Data visualisation tool

Make your own graphs and visualisations of Open Methane data for easy comparison and communication.


Alerts and saved views

Sign up to receive methane event alerts in areas that interest you, and monitor methane activity in specific locations through saved views.

Australian methane mapData visualisation toolAlerts and saved views