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Saunois, M, Bousquet P, Poulter B, Peregon A, Ciais P, Canadell JG, Dlugokencky EJ, Etiope G, Bastviken D, Houweling S, Janssens-Maenhout G, Tubiello FN, Castaldi S, Jackson RB, Alexe M, Arora VK, Beerling DJ, Bergamaschi P, Blake DR, Brailsford G, Brovkin V, Bruhwiler L, Crevoisier C, Crill P, Covey K, Curry C, Frankenberg C, Gedney N, Hoglund-Isaksson L, Ishizawa M, Ito A, Joos F, Kim HS, Kleinen T, Krummel P, Lamarque JF, Langenfelds R, Locatelli R, Machida T, Maksyutov S, McDonald KC, Marshall J, Melton JR, Morino I, Naik V, O'Doherty S, Parmentier FJW, Patra PK, Peng CH, Peng SS, Peters GP, Pison I, Prigent C, Prinn R, Ramonet M, Riley WJ, Saito M, Santini M, Schroeder R, Simpson IJ, Spahni R, Steele P, Takizawa A, Thornton BF, Tian HQ, Tohjima Y, Viovy N, Voulgarakis A, van Weele M, van der Werf GR, Weiss R, Wiedinmyer C, Wilton DJ, Wiltshire A, Worthy D, Wunch D, Xu XY, Yoshida Y, Zhang B, Zhang Z, Zhu Q.  2016.  The global methane budget 2000-2012. Earth System Science Data. 8:697-751.   10.5194/essd-8-697-2016   AbstractWebsite

The global methane (CH4) budget is becoming an increasingly important component for managing realistic pathways to mitigate climate change. This relevance, due to a shorter atmospheric lifetime and a stronger warming potential than carbon dioxide, is challenged by the still unexplained changes of atmospheric CH4 over the past decade. Emissions and concentrations of CH4 are continuing to increase, making CH4 the second most important human-induced greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. Two major difficulties in reducing uncertainties come from the large variety of diffusive CH4 sources that overlap geographically, and from the destruction of CH4 by the very short-lived hydroxyl radical (OH). To address these difficulties, we have established a consortium of multi-disciplinary scientists under the umbrella of the Global Carbon Project to synthesize and stimulate research on the methane cycle, and producing regular (similar to biennial) updates of the global methane budget. This consortium includes atmospheric physicists and chemists, biogeochemists of surface and marine emissions, and socio-economists who study anthropogenic emissions. Following Kirschke et al. (2013), we propose here the first version of a living review paper that integrates results of top-down studies (exploiting atmospheric observations within an atmospheric inverse-modelling framework) and bottom-up models, inventories and data-driven approaches (including process-based models for estimating land surface emissions and atmospheric chemistry, and inventories for anthropogenic emissions, data-driven extrapolations). For the 2003-2012 decade, global methane emissions are estimated by top-down inversions at 558 TgCH(4) yr(-1), range 540-568. About 60% of global emissions are anthropogenic (range 50-65 %). Since 2010, the bottom-up global emission inventories have been closer to methane emissions in the most carbon-intensive Representative Concentrations Pathway (RCP8.5) and higher than all other RCP scenarios. Bottom-up approaches suggest larger global emissions (736 TgCH(4) yr(-1), range 596-884) mostly because of larger natural emissions from individual sources such as inland waters, natural wetlands and geological sources. Considering the atmospheric constraints on the top-down budget, it is likely that some of the individual emissions reported by the bottom-up approaches are overestimated, leading to too large global emissions. Latitudinal data from top-down emissions indicate a predominance of tropical emissions (similar to 64% of the global budget, <30 degrees N) as compared to mid (similar to 32 %, 30-60 degrees N) and high northern latitudes (similar to 4 %, 60-90 degrees N). Top-down inversions consistently infer lower emissions in China (similar to 58 TgCH(4) yr(-1), range 51-72, -14 %) and higher emissions in Africa (86 TgCH(4) yr(-1), range 73-108, + 19 %) than bottom-up values used as prior estimates. Overall, uncertainties for anthropogenic emissions appear smaller than those from natural sources, and the uncertainties on source categories appear larger for top-down inversions than for bottom-up inventories and models. The most important source of uncertainty on the methane budget is attributable to emissions from wetland and other inland waters. We show that the wetland extent could contribute 30-40% on the estimated range for wetland emissions. Other priorities for improving the methane budget include the following: (i) the development of process-based models for inland-water emissions, (ii) the intensification of methane observations at local scale (flux measurements) to constrain bottom-up land surface models, and at regional scale (surface networks and satellites) to constrain top-down inversions, (iii) improvements in the estimation of atmospheric loss by OH, and (iv) improvements of the transport models integrated in top-down inversions. The data presented here can be downloaded from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center ( and the Global Carbon Project.

McNorton, J, Chipperfield MP, Gloor M, Wilson C, Feng WH, Hayman GD, Rigby M, Krummel PB, O'Doherty S, Prinn RG, Weiss RF, Young D, Dlugokencky E, Montzka SA.  2016.  Role of OH variability in the stalling of the global atmospheric CH4 growth rate from 1999 to 2006. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 16:7943-7956.   10.5194/acp-16-7943-2016   AbstractWebsite

The growth in atmospheric methane (CH4) concentrations over the past 2 decades has shown large variability on a timescale of several years. Prior to 1999 the globally averaged CH4 concentration was increasing at a rate of 6.0aEuro-ppbaEuro-yr(-1), but during a stagnation period from 1999 to 2006 this growth rate slowed to 0.6aEuro-ppbaEuro-yr(-1). From 2007 to 2009 the growth rate again increased to 4.9aEuro-ppbaEuro-yr(-1). These changes in growth rate are usually ascribed to variations in CH4 emissions. We have used a 3-D global chemical transport model, driven by meteorological reanalyses and variations in global mean hydroxyl (OH) concentrations derived from CH3CCl3 observations from two independent networks, to investigate these CH4 growth variations. The model shows that between 1999 and 2006 changes in the CH4 atmospheric loss contributed significantly to the suppression in global CH4 concentrations relative to the pre-1999 trend. The largest factor in this is relatively small variations in global mean OH on a timescale of a few years, with minor contributions of atmospheric transport of CH4 to its sink region and of atmospheric temperature. Although changes in emissions may be important during the stagnation period, these results imply a smaller variation is required to explain the observed CH4 trends. The contribution of OH variations to the renewed CH4 growth after 2007 cannot be determined with data currently available.

Dalsoren, SB, Myhre CL, Myhre G, Gomez-Pelaez AJ, Sovde OA, Isaksen ISA, Weiss RF, Harth CM.  2016.  Atmospheric methane evolution the last 40 years. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 16:3099-3126.   10.5194/acp-16-3099-2016   AbstractWebsite

Observations at surface sites show an increase in global mean surface methane (CH4) of about 180 parts per billion (ppb) (above 10 %) over the period 1984-2012. Over this period there are large fluctuations in the annual growth rate. In this work, we investigate the atmospheric CH4 evolution over the period 1970-2012 with the Oslo CTM3 global chemical transport model (CTM) in a bottom-up approach. We thoroughly assess data from surface measurement sites in international networks and select a subset suited for comparisons with the output from the CTM. We compare model results and observations to understand causes for both long-term trends and short-term variations. Employing Oslo CTM3 we are able to reproduce the seasonal and year-to-year variations and shifts between years with consecutive growth and stagnation, both at global and regional scales. The overall CH4 trend over the period is reproduced, but for some periods the model fails to reproduce the strength of the growth. The model overestimates the observed growth after 2006 in all regions. This seems to be explained by an overly strong increase in anthropogenic emissions in Asia, having global impact. Our findings confirm other studies questioning the timing or strength of the emission changes in Asia in the EDGAR v4.2 emission inventory over recent decades. The evolution of CH4 is not only controlled by changes in sources, but also by changes in the chemical loss in the atmosphere and soil uptake. The atmospheric CH4 lifetime is an indicator of the CH4 loss. In our simulations, the atmospheric CH4 lifetime decreases by more than 8 % from 1970 to 2012, a significant reduction of the residence time of this important greenhouse gas. Changes in CO and NOx emissions, specific humidity, and ozone column drive most of this, and we provide simple prognostic equations for the relations between those and the CH4 lifetime. The reduced lifetime results in substantial growth in the chemical CH4 loss (relative to its burden) and dampens the CH4 growth.

Rigby, M, Prinn RG, O'Doherty S, Montzka SA, McCulloch A, Harth CM, Muhle J, Salameh PK, Weiss RF, Young D, Simmonds PG, Hall BD, Dutton GS, Nance D, Mondeel DJ, Elkins JW, Krummel PB, Steele LP, Fraser PJ.  2013.  Re-evaluation of the lifetimes of the major CFCs and CH3CCl3 using atmospheric trends. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 13:2691-2702.   10.5194/acp-13-2691-2013   AbstractWebsite

Since the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and its amendments came into effect, growth rates of the major ozone depleting substances (ODS), particularly CFC-11, -12 and -113 and CH3CCl3, have declined markedly, paving the way for global stratospheric ozone recovery. Emissions have now fallen to relatively low levels, therefore the rate at which this recovery occurs will depend largely on the atmospheric lifetime of these compounds. The first ODS measurements began in the early 1970s along with the first lifetime estimates calculated by considering their atmospheric trends. We now have global mole fraction records spanning multiple decades, prompting this lifetime re-evaluation. Using surface measurements from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Global Monitoring Division (NOAA GMD) from 1978 to 2011, we estimated the lifetime of CFC-11, CFC-12, CFC-113 and CH3CCl3 usin!

Vollmer, MK, Miller BR, Rigby M, Reimann S, Muhle J, Krummel PB, O'Doherty S, Kim J, Rhee TS, Weiss RF, Fraser PJ, Simmonds PG, Salameh PK, Harth CM, Wang RHJ, Steele LP, Young D, Lunder CR, Hermansen O, Ivy D, Arnold T, Schmidbauer N, Kim KR, Greally BR, Hill M, Leist M, Wenger A, Prinn RG.  2011.  Atmospheric histories and global emissions of the anthropogenic hydrofluorocarbons HFC-365mfc, HFC-245fa, HFC-227ea, and HFC-236fa. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 116   10.1029/2010jd015309   AbstractWebsite

We report on ground-based atmospheric measurements and emission estimates of the four anthropogenic hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) HFC-365mfc (CH(3)CF(2)CH(2)CF(3), 1,1,1,3,3-pentafluorobutane), HFC-245fa (CHF(2)CH(2)CF(3), 1,1,1,3,3-pentafluoropropane), HFC-227ea (CF(3)CHFCF(3), 1,1,1,2,3,3,3-heptafluoropropane), and HFC-236fa (CF(3)CH(2)CF(3), 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoropropane). In situ measurements are from the global monitoring sites of the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), the System for Observations of Halogenated Greenhouse Gases in Europe (SOGE), and Gosan (South Korea). We include the first halocarbon flask sample measurements from the Antarctic research stations King Sejong and Troll. We also present measurements of archived air samples from both hemispheres back to the 1970s. We use a two-dimensional atmospheric transport model to simulate global atmospheric abundances and to estimate global emissions. HFC-365mfc and HFC-245fa first appeared in the atmosphere only similar to 1 decade ago; they have grown rapidly to globally averaged dry air mole fractions of 0.53 ppt (in parts per trillion, 10(-12)) and 1.1 ppt, respectively, by the end of 2010. In contrast, HFC-227ea first appeared in the global atmosphere in the 1980s and has since grown to similar to 0.58 ppt. We report the first measurements of HFC-236fa in the atmosphere. This long-lived compound was present in the atmosphere at only 0.074 ppt in 2010. All four substances exhibit yearly growth rates of >8% yr(-1) at the end of 2010. We find rapidly increasing emissions for the foam-blowing compounds HFC-365mfc and HFC-245fa starting in similar to 2002. After peaking in 2006 (HFC-365mfc: 3.2 kt yr(-1), HFC-245fa: 6.5 kt yr(-1)), emissions began to decline. Our results for these two compounds suggest that recent estimates from long-term projections (to the late 21st century) have strongly overestimated emissions for the early years of the projections (similar to 2005-2010). Global HFC-227ea and HFC-236fa emissions have grown to average values of 2.4 kt yr(-1) and 0.18 kt y(r-)1 over the 2008-2010 period, respectively.

Patra, PK, Takigawa M, Ishijima K, Choi B-C, Cunnold D, Dlugokencky EJ, Fraser P, Gomez-Pelaez AJ, Goo T-Y, Kim J-S, Krummel P, Langenfelds R, Meinhardt F, Mukai H, O'Doherty S, Prinn RG, Simmonds P, Steele P, Tohjima Y, Tsuboi K, Uhse K, Weiss R, Worthy D, Nakazawa T.  2009.  Growth rate, seasonal, synoptic, diurnal variations and budget of methane in the lower atmosphere. Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan. 87:635-663.: Meteorological Society of Japan, 1-3-4, Ote-machi Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-0004 Japan, [], [URL:]   10.2151/jmsj.87.635   AbstractWebsite

We have used an AGCM (atmospheric general circulation model)-based Chemistry Transport Model (ACTM) for the simulation of methane (CH sub(4)) in the height range of earth's surface to about 90 km. The model simulations are compared with measurements at hourly, daily, monthly and interannual time scales by filtering or averaging all the timeseries appropriately. From this model-observation comparison, we conclude that the recent (1990-2006) trends in growth rate and seasonal cycle at most measurement sites can be fairly successfully modeled by using existing knowledge of CH sub(4) flux trends and seasonality. A large part of the interannual variability (IAV) in CH sub(4) growth rate is apparently controlled by IAV in atmospheric dynamics at the tropical sites and forest fires in the high latitude sites. The flux amplitudes are optimized with respect to the available hydroxyl radical (OH) distribution and model transport for successful reproduction of latitudinal and longitudinal distribution of observed CH sub(4) mixing ratio at the earth's surface. Estimated atmospheric CH sub(4) lifetime in this setup is 8.6 years. We found a small impact (less than 0.5 integrated over 1 year) of OH diurnal variation, due to temperature dependence of reaction rate coefficient, on CH sub(4) simulation compared to the transport related variability (order of +/-15 at interannual timescales). Model-observation comparisons of seasonal cycles, synoptic variations and diurnal cycles are shown to be useful for validating regional flux distribution patterns and strengths. Our results, based on two emission scenarios, suggest reduced emissions from temperate and tropical Asia region (by 13, 5, 3 Tg-CH sub(4) for India, China and Indonesia, respectively), and compensating increase (by 9, 9, 3 Tg-CH sub(4) for Russia, United States and Canada, respectively) in the boreal Northern Hemisphere (NH) are required for improved model-observation agreement.

Greally, BR, Manning AJ, Reimann S, McCulloch A, Huang J, Dunse BL, Simmonds PG, Prinn RG, Fraser PJ, Cunnold DM, O'Doherty S, Porter LW, Stemmler K, Vollmer MK, Lunder CR, Schmidbauer N, Hermansen O, Arduini J, Salameh PK, Krummel PB, Wang RHJ, Folini D, Weiss RF, Maione M, Nickless G, Stordal F, Derwent RG.  2007.  Observations of 1,1-difluoroethane (HFC-152a) at AGAGE and SOGE monitoring stations in 1994-2004 and derived global and regional emission estimates. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 112   10.1029/2006jd007527   AbstractWebsite

[1] Ground-based in situ measurements of 1,1-difluoroethane (HFC-152a, CH3CHF2) which is regulated under the Kyoto Protocol are reported under the auspices of the AGAGE (Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment) and SOGE (System of Observation of halogenated Greenhouse gases in Europe) programs. Observations of HFC-152a at five locations (four European and one Australian) over a 10 year period were recorded. The annual average growth rate of HFC-152a in the midlatitude Northern Hemisphere has risen from 0.11 ppt/yr to 0.6 ppt/yr from 1994 to 2004. The Southern Hemisphere annual average growth rate has risen from 0.09 ppt/yr to 0.4 ppt/yr from 1998 to 2004. The 2004 average mixing ratio for HFC-152a was 5.0 ppt and 1.8 ppt in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, respectively. The annual cycle observed for this species in both hemispheres is approximately consistent with measured annual cycles at the same locations in other gases which are destroyed by OH. Yearly global emissions of HFC-152a from 1994 to 2004 are derived using the global mean HFC-152a observations and a 12-box 2-D model. The global emission of HFC-152a has risen from 7 Kt/yr to 28 Kt/yr from 1995 to 2004. On the basis of observations of above-baseline elevations in the HFC-152a record and a consumption model, regional emission estimates for Europe and Australia are calculated, indicating accelerating emissions from Europe since 2000. The overall European emission in 2004 ranges from 1.5 to 4.0 Kt/year, 5-15% of global emissions for 1,1-difluoroethane, while the Australian contribution is negligible at 5-10 tonnes/year, < 0.05% of global emissions.

Xiao, X, Prinn RG, Simmonds PG, Steele LP, Novelli PC, Huang J, Langenfelds RL, O'Doherty S, Krummel PB, Fraser PJ, Porter LW, Weiss RF, Salameh P, Wang RHJ.  2007.  Optimal estimation of the soil uptake rate of molecular hydrogen from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment and other measurements. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 112   10.1029/2006jd007241   AbstractWebsite

[1] Hydrogen (H(2)), a proposed clean energy alternative, warrants detailed investigation of its global budget and future environmental impacts. The magnitudes and seasonal cycles of the major ( presumably microbial) soil sink of hydrogen have been estimated from high-frequency in situ AGAGE H(2) observations and also from more geographically extensive but low-frequency flask measurements from CSIRO and NOAA-GMD using the Kalman filter in a two-dimensional (2-D) global transport model. Hydrogen mole fractions exhibit well-defined seasonal cycles in each hemisphere with their phase difference being only about 3 months. The global production rate of H(2) is estimated to be 103 +/- 10 Tg yr(-1) with only a small estimated interannual variation. Soil uptake ( 84 +/- 8 Tg yr(-1)) represents the major loss process for H(2) and accounts for 81% of the total destruction. Strong seasonal cycles are deduced for the soil uptake of H(2). The soil sink is a maximum over the northern extratropics in summer and peaks only 2 to 3 months earlier in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere. Oxidation by tropospheric OH (18 +/- 3 Tg yr(-1)) accounts for 17% of the destruction, with the remainder due to destruction in the stratosphere. The calculated global burden is 191 +/- 29 Tg, indicating an overall atmospheric lifetime of 1.8 +/- 0.3 years. Hydrogen in the troposphere ( 149 +/- 23 Tg burden) has a lifetime of 1.4 +/- 0.2 years.