Regional emission and loss budgets of atmospheric methane (2002–2012)
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Methane (CH4) plays important roles in atmospheric chemistry and short-term forcing of climate. Clear understanding of atmospheric CH4's budget of emissions and losses is required to aid sustainable development of Earth’s future environment. We used an atmospheric chemistry-transport model (JAMSTEC’s ACTM) for simulating atmospheric CH4. An inverse modeling system has been developed for estimating CH4 emissions (7 ensemble cases) from 53 land regions for 2002–2012 using measurements at 39 sites. Global net CH4 emissions varied between 505–509 and 524–545 Tg/yr during 2002–2004 and 2010–2012, respectively (ranges based on 6 inversion cases), with a step like increase in 2007 in agreement with atmospheric measurement. The inversion system did not account for interannual variations in radicals reacting with CH4 in atmosphere. Our results suggest that the recent update of EDGAR inventory (version 4.2FT2010) overestimated global total emissions by at least 25 Tg/yr in 2010. Increase in CH4 emission since 2004 originated in the tropical and southern hemisphere regions, with timing consistent with an increase of non-dairy cattle stocks by ~10% in 2012 from 1056 million heads in 2002, leading to ~10 Tg/yr increase in emissions from enteric fermentation. All 7 inversions robustly estimated the interannual variations in emissions, but poorly constrained the seasonal cycle amplitude or phase consistently for all regions due to sparse observational network. Forward simulation results using both the a priori and a posteriori emissions are compared with independent aircraft measurements for validation. By doing that we are able to reject the upper limit (545 Tg/yr) of global total emissions as 14 Tg/yr too high during 2008–2012, which allows us to further conclude that CH4 emission increase rate over the East Asia (China mainly) region was 7–8 Tg/yr between the 2002–2006 and 2008–2012 periods, contrary to 1–17 Tg/yr in the a priori emissions.