High-resolution methane emission estimates using the InTEM inversion system

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 9:00 AM
Sarah Connors1, Alistair Manning2, Andrew D Robinson1, Stuart N Riddick1, Grant Forster3, Dave Oram3, Simon O'Doherty4 and Neil Richard Peter Harris1, (1)University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, (2)UK Meteorological Office, Exeter, United Kingdom, (3)University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom, (4)University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
There is a growing need for comparisons between emission estimates produced using bottom-up and top-down techniques at high spatial resolution. In response to this, an inversion approach, InTEM, was adapted to estimate methane emissions for a region in the South East of the UK (~100 x 150 km). We present results covering a 2-year period (July 2012 - July 2014) in which atmospheric methane concentrations were recorded at 1 - 2 minute time-steps at four locations within the region of interest. Precise measurements were obtained using gas chromatography with flame ionisation detection (GC-FID) for all sites except one, which used a PICARRO Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometer (CRDS). These observations, along with the UK Met Office's Lagrangian particle dispersion model (NAME) were used within InTEM to produce the methane emission fields. Emission estimates were produced at varying spatial resolutions, for annual and seasonal time frames . We present results indicating the optimum number of observation sites required for this region, and how this can affect our uncertainty estimates. These results are compared with the UK National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) which is compiled using bottom-up methods and available at 1x1 km resolution. To our knowledge, no inversion technique has been implemented on such a fine spatial resolution. This is a pilot project which, given proof of concept, could be scaled up as an alternative method for producing national scale emission inventories.