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Published August 16, 2012 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Methane airborne measurements and comparison to global models during BARCA


[1] Tropical regions, especially the Amazon region, account for large emissions of methane (CH_4). Here, we present CH_4 observations from two airborne campaigns conducted within the BARCA (Balanço Atmosférico Regional de Carbono na Amazônia) project in the Amazon basin in November 2008 (end of the dry season) and May 2009 (end of the wet season). We performed continuous measurements of CH_4 onboard an aircraft for the first time in the Amazon region, covering the whole Amazon basin with over 150 vertical profiles between altitudes of 500 m and 4000 m. The observations support the finding of previous ground-based, airborne, and satellite measurements that the Amazon basin is a large source of atmospheric CH_4. Isotope analysis verified that the majority of emissions can be attributed to CH_4 emissions from wetlands, while urban CH_4 emissions could be also traced back to biogenic origin. A comparison of five TM5 based global CH_4 inversions with the observations clearly indicates that the inversions using SCIAMACHY observations represent the BARCA observations best. The calculated CH_4 flux estimate obtained from the mismatch between observations and TM5-modeled CH_4 fields ranges from 36 to 43 mg m^(−2) d^(−1) for the Amazon lowland region.

Additional Information

© 2012 American Geophysical Union. Received 19 December 2011; revised 15 June 2012; accepted 28 June 2012; published 14 August 2012. We are very thankful to all the other BARCA team members, namely E. Gottlieb, V. Y. Chow, M. D. P. Longo, G. W. Santoni, K. T. Wiedemann, F. Morais, A. C. Ribeiro, N. Jürgens, M. Bela, L. V. Gatti, J. B. Miller, and the two pilots of the INPE Bandeirante airplane, P. Celso and D. Gramacho. We thank E. J. Dlugokencky for permission to use unpublished SF6 and CH4 data from the NOAA ESRL stations. We also would like to thank Armin Jordan, who did the flask measurements, and Stephan Baum, who also took care of the flasks, and Silvana Schott for assistance with graphics. We thank two anonymous reviewers for improvements on the manuscript. This work was supported by the Max Planck Society. Funding for the BARCA flights was provided by Max Planck Society, NASA through the grants NASA NNX08AP68A and NASA NNX10AR75G, the CNPq Millennium Institute of the Large Scale Biosphere–Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA), and FAPESP. We thank INPA (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia) for the support for the LBA central office.

Attached Files

Published - Beck_et_al-2012-Journal_of_Geophysical_Research_D15310.pdf

Supplemental Material - jgrd17883-sup-0001-t01.txt

Supplemental Material - jgrd17883-sup-0002-t02.txt


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