A wave of satellites set to orbit the Earth will be able to pinpoint producers of greenhouse gases, right down to an individual leak at an oil rig.

More than a dozen governments and companies have or are planning to launch satellites that measure concentrations of heat-trapping gases such as methane, which is blamed for about one quarter of man-made global warming. They are looking to track nations, industries, companies and even individual facilities to identify some of the biggest contributors to climate change.

European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite.
Source: ESA/ATG Medialab

“Space-based technologies are allowing us for the first time to quickly and cheaply measure greenhouse...