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Title: Top-down methane emissions estimates for the San Francisco Bay Area from 1990 to 2012

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) that is now included in both California State and San Francisco Bay Area (SFBA) bottom-up emission inventories as part of California's effort to reduce anthropogenic GHG emissions. Here we provide a top-down estimate of methane (CH4) emissions from the SFBA by combining atmospheric measurements with the comparatively better estimated emission inventory for carbon monoxide (CO). Local enhancements of CH4 and CO are estimated using measurements from 14 air quality sites in the SFBA combined together with global background measurements. Mean annual CH4 emissions are estimated from the product of Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) emission inventory CO and the slope of ambient local CH4 to CO. The resulting top-down estimates of CH4 emissions are found to decrease slightly from 1990 to 2012, with a mean value of 240 ± 60 GgCH4 yr⁻¹ (at 95% confidence) in the most recent (2009–2012) period, and correspond to reasonably a constant factor of 1.5–2.0 (at 95% confidence) times larger than the BAAQMD CH4 emission inventory. However, we note that uncertainty in these emission estimates is dominated by the variation in CH4:CO enhancement ratios across the observing sites and we expect the estimates could represent amore » lower-limit on CH4 emissions because BAAQMD monitoring sites focus on urban air quality and may be biased toward CO rather than CH4 sources.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2]
  1. Bay Area Quality Management District, San Francisco, CA (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Atmospheric Environment (1994)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Atmospheric Environment (1994); Journal Volume: 107; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 1352-2310
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; methane emissions; emissions inventory; greenhouse gas; inventory verification; top-down estimates