Skip to Main Content

In this second episode of This Planet’s on Fire, we hear from Dr. Steven Hamburg, Chief Scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund. Dr. Hamburg joins SSPI’s Lou Zacharilla to talk about MethaneSAT, which locates and measures methane emissions from oil and gas operations around the world with precision and at a scale never achieved, providing valuable data for making decisions on climate change.

MethaneSAT will provide regular monitoring of regions accounting for more than 80% of global oil and gas production, identifying not only the location but also quantifying the emissions rate with unprecedented precision — giving MethaneSAT the ability to monitor changes in total emissions over time. MethaneSAT will also be able to measure methane from industrial agriculture and other sources. Learn more at

Dr. Steven Hamburg is Chief Scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund. In his role at EDF, Steven works to ensure that EDF’s advocacy is based on the best available science. He coordinates studies on methane emissions from the global natural gas supply chain as Chief Scientific Officer of the International Methane Studies, which is part of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition/UN Environment. He also co-chairs the Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative – a joint project of Royal Society, The World Academy of Science and EDF – and serves on the US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine Division on Earth and Life Sciences Advisory Board as well as other university and government advisory boards.

Prior to joining EDF, Steve spent 25 years on the faculties of Brown University and the University of Kansas where he served in numerous administrative positions in addition to his teaching and research. He has served as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and was recognized as one of the scientists contributing to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He has also been awarded the US Environmental Protection Agency Merit Award – region 1 twice. He has published more than 100 scholarly papers on biogeochemistry, climate change impacts on forests, carbon accounting and methane emissions. Steve completed his undergraduate degree at Vassar College and his MFS and PhD at Yale University in Ecosystem Ecology. He was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University and a Bullard Fellow at Harvard University.

This podcast originally aired in October 2020 as part of the Risk, Season 1 Better Satellite World podcast series.




This podcast series is sponsored by


SSPI’s Better Satellite World campaign is made possible with the support of our corporate partners