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Influence of Atmospheric Transport on Estimates of Variability in the Global Methane Burden

Pandey, Sudhanshu and Houweling, Sander and Krol, Maarten and Aben, Ilse and Nechita-Banda, Narcisa and Thoning, Kirk and Röckmann, Thomas and Yin, Yi and Segers, Arjo and Dlugokencky, Edward J. (2019) Influence of Atmospheric Transport on Estimates of Variability in the Global Methane Burden. Geophysical Research Letters, 46 (4). pp. 2302-2311. ISSN 0094-8276.

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We quantify the impact of atmospheric transport and limited marine boundary layer sampling on changes in global and regional methane burdens estimate using tracer transport model simulations with annually repeating methane emissions and sinks but varying atmospheric transport patterns. We find the 1σ error due to this transport and sampling effect on annual global methane increases to be 1.11 ppb/year and on zonal growth rates to be 3.8 ppb/year, indicating that it becomes more critical at smaller spatiotemporal scales. We also find that the trends in inter‐hemispheric and inter‐polar difference of methane are significantly influenced by the effect. Contrary to a negligible trend in the inter‐hemispheric difference of measurements, we find, after adjusting for the transport and sampling, a trend of 0.37 ± 0.06 ppb/year. This is consistent with the emission trend from a 3‐D inversion of the measurements, suggesting a faster increase in emissions in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Pandey, Sudhanshu0000-0001-5938-385X
Houweling, Sander0000-0002-6189-1009
Krol, Maarten0000-0002-3506-2477
Thoning, Kirk0000-0002-1827-7345
Röckmann, Thomas0000-0002-6688-8968
Yin, Yi0000-0003-4750-4997
Dlugokencky, Edward J.0000-0003-0612-6985
Additional Information:© 2019 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. Received 30 OCT 2018; Accepted 20 JAN 2019; Accepted article online 29 JAN 2019; Published online 25 FEB 2019. We acknowledge the support by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (“CAMS_73 Greenhouse gases fluxes”). The TM5 model computations were carried out on the Dutch national supercomputer Cartesius maintained by SURFSara ( NOAA CH_4 measurements are freely available from NOAA's public ftp server (
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)UNSPECIFIED
Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring ServiceUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:atmospheric transport; methane; atmospheric burden; CH4 emissions; interhemispheric difference; TM5
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190404-082818236
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Pandey, S., Houweling, S., Krol, M., Aben, I., Nechita‐Banda, N., Thoning, K., et al. (2019). Influence of atmospheric transport on estimates of variability in the global methane burden. Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 2302–2311.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:94443
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:04 Apr 2019 16:11
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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