Publications

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2018
Wells, KC, Millet DB, Bousserez N, Henze DK, Griffis TJ, Chaliyakunnel S, Dlugokencky EJ, Saikawa E, Xiang G, Prinn RG, O'Doherty S, Young D, Weiss RF, Dutton GS, Elkins JW, Krummel PB, Langenfelds R, Steele LP.  2018.  Top-down constraints on global N2O emissions at optimal resolution: application of a new dimension reduction technique. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 18:735-756.   10.5194/acp-18-735-2018   AbstractWebsite

We present top-down constraints on global monthly N2O emissions for 2011 from a multi-inversion approach and an ensemble of surface observations. The inversions employ the GEOS-Chem adjoint and an array of aggregation strategies to test how well current observations can constrain the spatial distribution of global N2O emissions. The strategies include (1) a standard 4D-Var inversion at native model resolution (4 degrees x 5 degrees), (2) an inversion for six continental and three ocean regions, and (3) a fast 4D-Var inversion based on a novel dimension reduction technique employing randomized singular value decomposition (SVD). The optimized global flux ranges from 15.9 TgNyr(-1) (SVD-based inversion) to 17.5-17.7 TgNyr(-1) (continental-scale, standard 4D-Var inversions), with the former better capturing the extratropical N2O background measured during the HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO) airborne campaigns. We find that the tropics provide a greater contribution to the global N2O flux than is predicted by the prior bottom-up inventories, likely due to underestimated agricultural and oceanic emissions. We infer an overestimate of natural soil emissions in the extratropics and find that predicted emissions are seasonally biased in northern midlatitudes. Here, optimized fluxes exhibit a springtime peak consistent with the timing of spring fertilizer and manure application, soil thawing, and elevated soil moisture. Finally, the inversions reveal a major emission underestimate in the US Corn Belt in the bottom-up inventory used here. We extensively test the impact of initial conditions on the analysis and recommend formally optimizing the initial N2O distribution to avoid biasing the inferred fluxes. We find that the SVD-based approach provides a powerful framework for deriving emission information from N2O observations: by defining the optimal resolution of the solution based on the information content of the inversion, it provides spatial information that is lost when aggregating to political or geographic regions, while also providing more temporal information than a standard 4D-Var inversion.

2015
Thompson, RL, Stohl A, Zhou LX, Dlugokencky E, Fukuyama Y, Tohjima Y, Kim SY, Lee H, Nisbet EG, Fisher RE, Lowry D, Weiss RF, Prinn RG, O'Doherty S, Young D, White JWC.  2015.  Methane emissions in East Asia for 2000-2011 estimated using an atmospheric Bayesian inversion. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 120:4352-4369.   10.1002/2014jd022394   AbstractWebsite

We present methane (CH4) emissions for East Asia from a Bayesian inversion of CH4 mole fraction and stable isotope (C-13-CH4) measurements. Emissions were estimated at monthly resolution from 2000 to 2011. A posteriori, the total emission for East Asia increased from 434 to 594Tgyr(-1) between 2000 and 2011, owing largely to the increase in emissions from China, from 394 to 544Tgyr(-1), while emissions in other East Asian countries remained relatively stable. For China, South Korea, and Japan, the total emissions were smaller than the prior estimates (i.e., Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research 4.2 FT2010 for anthropogenic emissions) by an average of 29%, 20%, and 23%, respectively. For Mongolia, Taiwan, and North Korea, the total emission was less than 2Tgyr(-1) and was not significantly different from the prior. The largest reductions in emissions, compared to the prior, occurred in summer in regions important for rice agriculture suggesting that this source is overestimated in the prior. Furthermore, an analysis of the isotope data suggests that the prior underestimates emissions from landfills and ruminant animals for winter 2010 to spring 2011 (no data available for other times). The inversion also found a lower average emission trend for China, 1.2Tgyr(-1) compared to 2.8Tgyr(-1) in the prior. This trend was not constant, however, and increased significantly after 2005, up to 2.0Tgyr(-1). Overall, the changes in emissions from China explain up to 40% of the increase in global emissions in the 2000s.