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Title: Observationally derived rise in methane surface forcing mediated by water vapour trends

Abstract

Atmospheric methane (CH4) mixing ratios exhibited a plateau between 1995 and 2006 and have subsequently been increasing. While there are a number of competing explanations for the temporal evolution of this greenhouse gas, these prominent features in the temporal trajectory of atmospheric CH4 are expected to perturb the surface energy balance through radiative forcing, largely due to the infrared radiative absorption features of CH4. However, to date this has been determined strictly through radiative transfer calculations. Here, we present a quantified observation of the time series of clear-sky radiative forcing by CH4 at the surface from 2002 to 2012 at a single site derived from spectroscopic measurements along with line-by-line calculations using ancillary data. There was no significant trend in CH4 forcing between 2002 and 2006, but since then, the trend in forcing was 0.026 ± 0.006 (99.7% CI) W m2 yr-1. The seasonal-cycle amplitude and secular trends in observed forcing are influenced by a corresponding seasonal cycle and trend in atmospheric CH4. However, we find that we must account for the overlapping absorption effects of atmospheric water vapour (H2O) and CH4 to explain the observations fully. Here, the determination of CH4 radiative forcing requires accurate observations of both themore » spatiotemporal distribution of CH4 and the vertically resolved trends in H2O.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4];  [1];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [8];  [2]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  3. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Earth Systems Research Lab, Boulder, CO (United States)
  4. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
  5. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  6. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  7. Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Lexington, MA (United States)
  8. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1532308
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1458639; OSTI ID: 1490275
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-741331
Journal ID: ISSN 1752-0894; ark:/13030/qt5gc4b6cg
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Geoscience
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1752-0894
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Feldman, D. R., Collins, W. D., Biraud, S. C., Risser, M. D., Turner, D. D., Gero, P. J., Tadić, J., Helmig, D., Xie, S., Mlawer, E. J., Shippert, T. R., and Torn, M. S. Observationally derived rise in methane surface forcing mediated by water vapour trends. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0085-9.
Feldman, D. R., Collins, W. D., Biraud, S. C., Risser, M. D., Turner, D. D., Gero, P. J., Tadić, J., Helmig, D., Xie, S., Mlawer, E. J., Shippert, T. R., & Torn, M. S. Observationally derived rise in methane surface forcing mediated by water vapour trends. United States. doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0085-9.
Feldman, D. R., Collins, W. D., Biraud, S. C., Risser, M. D., Turner, D. D., Gero, P. J., Tadić, J., Helmig, D., Xie, S., Mlawer, E. J., Shippert, T. R., and Torn, M. S. Mon . "Observationally derived rise in methane surface forcing mediated by water vapour trends". United States. doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0085-9. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1532308.
@article{osti_1532308,
title = {Observationally derived rise in methane surface forcing mediated by water vapour trends},
author = {Feldman, D. R. and Collins, W. D. and Biraud, S. C. and Risser, M. D. and Turner, D. D. and Gero, P. J. and Tadić, J. and Helmig, D. and Xie, S. and Mlawer, E. J. and Shippert, T. R. and Torn, M. S.},
abstractNote = {Atmospheric methane (CH4) mixing ratios exhibited a plateau between 1995 and 2006 and have subsequently been increasing. While there are a number of competing explanations for the temporal evolution of this greenhouse gas, these prominent features in the temporal trajectory of atmospheric CH4 are expected to perturb the surface energy balance through radiative forcing, largely due to the infrared radiative absorption features of CH4. However, to date this has been determined strictly through radiative transfer calculations. Here, we present a quantified observation of the time series of clear-sky radiative forcing by CH4 at the surface from 2002 to 2012 at a single site derived from spectroscopic measurements along with line-by-line calculations using ancillary data. There was no significant trend in CH4 forcing between 2002 and 2006, but since then, the trend in forcing was 0.026 ± 0.006 (99.7% CI) W m2 yr-1. The seasonal-cycle amplitude and secular trends in observed forcing are influenced by a corresponding seasonal cycle and trend in atmospheric CH4. However, we find that we must account for the overlapping absorption effects of atmospheric water vapour (H2O) and CH4 to explain the observations fully. Here, the determination of CH4 radiative forcing requires accurate observations of both the spatiotemporal distribution of CH4 and the vertically resolved trends in H2O.},
doi = {10.1038/s41561-018-0085-9},
journal = {Nature Geoscience},
number = 4,
volume = 11,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {4}
}

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    journal, April 2016

    • Delahaye, T.; Landsheere, X.; Pangui, E.
    • Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, Vol. 173
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.jqsrt.2015.12.015

    Methane line parameters in the HITRAN2012 database
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    • Brown, L. R.; Sung, K.; Benner, D. C.
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    Role of atmospheric oxidation in recent methane growth
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    • Rigby, Matthew; Montzka, Stephen A.; Prinn, Ronald G.
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    • Clough, S. A.; Shephard, M. W.; Mlawer, E. J.
    • Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, Vol. 91, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.jqsrt.2004.05.058

    The HITRAN2012 molecular spectroscopic database
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    • Rothman, L. S.; Gordon, I. E.; Babikov, Y.
    • Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, Vol. 130, p. 4-50
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.jqsrt.2013.07.002

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    CarbonTracker-CH 4 : an assimilation system for estimating emissions of atmospheric methane
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    • Bruhwiler, L.; Dlugokencky, E.; Masarie, K.
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    • DOI: 10.5194/acp-14-8269-2014

    Recent decline in the global land evapotranspiration trend due to limited moisture supply
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    • Jung, Martin; Reichstein, Markus; Ciais, Philippe
    • Nature, Vol. 467, Issue 7318
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature09396

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    • Kai, Fuu Ming; Tyler, Stanley C.; Randerson, James T.
    • Nature, Vol. 476, Issue 7359
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature10259

    The HITRAN 2008 molecular spectroscopic database
    journal, June 2009

    • Rothman, L. S.; Gordon, I. E.; Barbe, A.
    • Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, Vol. 110, Issue 9-10, p. 533-572
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.jqsrt.2009.02.013

    Methane on the Rise--Again
    journal, January 2014


    Bayes Factors
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    Dimensionality Reduction and Visualization in Principal Component Analysis
    journal, July 2008

    • Ivosev, Gordana; Burton, Lyle; Bonner, Ron
    • Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 80, Issue 13
    • DOI: 10.1021/ac800110w

    Three decades of global methane sources and sinks
    journal, September 2013

    • Kirschke, Stefanie; Bousquet, Philippe; Ciais, Philippe
    • Nature Geoscience, Vol. 6, Issue 10
    • DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1955

    Anthropogenic emissions of methane in the United States
    journal, November 2013

    • Miller, S. M.; Wofsy, S. C.; Michalak, A. M.
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 110, Issue 50
    • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1314392110

    Recent decreases in fossil-fuel emissions of ethane and methane derived from firn air
    journal, August 2011

    • Aydin, Murat; Verhulst, Kristal R.; Saltzman, Eric S.
    • Nature, Vol. 476, Issue 7359
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature10352

    A multi-year record of airborne CO 2 observations in the US Southern Great Plains
    journal, January 2013

    • Biraud, S. C.; Torn, M. S.; Smith, J. R.
    • Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, Vol. 6, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.5194/amt-6-751-2013

    An update on Earth's energy balance in light of the latest global observations
    journal, September 2012

    • Stephens, Graeme L.; Li, Juilin; Wild, Martin
    • Nature Geoscience, Vol. 5, Issue 10
    • DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1580

    ARM Climate Modeling Best Estimate Lamont, OK (ARMBE-ATM SGPC1)
    dataset, January 2012

    • McCoy, Renata; Xie, Shaocheng
    • Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Archive, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (US)
    • DOI: 10.5439/1039931

    Increases in greenhouse forcing inferred from the outgoing longwave radiation spectra of the Earth in 1970 and 1997
    journal, March 2001

    • Harries, John E.; Brindley, Helen E.; Sagoo, Pretty J.
    • Nature, Vol. 410, Issue 6826
    • DOI: 10.1038/35066553

    Methane Leaks from North American Natural Gas Systems
    journal, February 2014


    Overexplaining or underexplaining methane’s role in climate change
    journal, May 2017

    • Prather, Michael J.; Holmes, Christopher D.
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, Issue 21
    • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1704884114

    The sensitivity of radiative transfer calculations to the changes in the HITRAN database from 1982 to 2004
    journal, April 2008


    The global energy balance from a surface perspective
    journal, November 2012


    An atmospheric perspective on North American carbon dioxide exchange: CarbonTracker
    journal, November 2007

    • Peters, W.; Jacobson, A. R.; Sweeney, C.
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 104, Issue 48
    • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0708986104

    How Much More Rain Will Global Warming Bring?
    journal, July 2007


    Development and recent evaluation of the MT_CKD model of continuum absorption
    journal, June 2012

    • Mlawer, Eli J.; Payne, Vivienne H.; Moncet, Jean-Luc
    • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 370, Issue 1968
    • DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2011.0295

    ARM: Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI): channel 1 data
    dataset, January 1994

    • Hackel, Denny; Ermold, Brian; Gaustad, Krista
    • Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Archive, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (US);
    • DOI: 10.5439/1025143

    Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010
    journal, February 2015

    • Feldman, D. R.; Collins, W. D.; Gero, P. J.
    • Nature, Vol. 519, Issue 7543
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature14240

    Ambiguity in the causes for decadal trends in atmospheric methane and hydroxyl
    journal, April 2017

    • Turner, Alexander J.; Frankenberg, Christian; Wennberg, Paul O.
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, Issue 21
    • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1616020114

    Impacts of updated spectroscopy on thermal infrared retrievals of methane evaluated with HIPPO data
    journal, January 2015

    • Alvarado, M. J.; Payne, V. H.; Cady-Pereira, K. E.
    • Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, Vol. 8, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.5194/amt-8-965-2015

    Global atmospheric methane: budget, changes and dangers
    journal, May 2011

    • Dlugokencky, Edward J.; Nisbet, Euan G.; Fisher, Rebecca
    • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 369, Issue 1943
    • DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2010.0341