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Title: Estimating global and North American methane emissions with high spatial resolution using GOSAT satellite data

We use 2009–2011 space-borne methane observations from the Greenhouse Gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT) to estimate global and North American methane emissions with 4° × 5° and up to 50 km × 50 km spatial resolution, respectively. GEOS-Chem and GOSAT data are first evaluated with atmospheric methane observations from surface and tower networks (NOAA/ESRL, TCCON) and aircraft (NOAA/ESRL, HIPPO), using the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model as a platform to facilitate comparison of GOSAT with in situ data. This identifies a high-latitude bias between the GOSAT data and GEOS-Chem that we correct via quadratic regression. Our global adjoint-based inversion yields a total methane source of 539 Tg a −1 with some important regional corrections to the EDGARv4.2 inventory used as a prior. Results serve as dynamic boundary conditions for an analytical inversion of North American methane emissions using radial basis functions to achieve high resolution of large sources and provide error characterization. We infer a US anthropogenic methane source of 40.2–42.7 Tg a -1, as compared to 24.9–27.0 Tg a -1 in the EDGAR and EPA bottom-up inventories, and 30.0–44.5 Tg a -1 in recent inverse studies. Our estimate is supported by independent surface and aircraft data and by previous inverse studiesmore » for California. We find that the emissions are highest in the southern–central US, the Central Valley of California, and Florida wetlands; large isolated point sources such as the US Four Corners also contribute. Using prior information on source locations, we attribute 29–44 % of US anthropogenic methane emissions to livestock, 22–31 % to oil/gas, 20 % to landfills/wastewater, and 11–15 % to coal. Wetlands contribute an additional 9.0–10.1 Tg a -1.« less
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  1. Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States)
  2. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, CO (United States). Earth System Research Lab.
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  4. Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
  5. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States). Jet Propulsion Lab.
  6. Univ. of Wollongong, NSW (Australia)
  7. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  8. Karlsruhe Inst. of Technology (KIT) (Germany). IMK-ASF
  9. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Tsukuba (Japan)
  10. Univ. of Bremen (Germany)
  11. Karlsruhe Inst. of Technology (KIT) Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany). IMK-IFU
  12. Pasadena, CA (United States). Jet Propulsion Lab.
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396; Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (CSGF)
Published Article
Journal Name:
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Online); Journal Volume: 15; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 1680-7324
European Geosciences Union
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1208843