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High-resolution inversion of methane emissions in the Southeast US using SEAC(4)RS aircraft observations of atmospheric methane: anthropogenic and wetland sources
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    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18(9), 6483-6491.
Filetype[PDF-993.12 KB]

  • Description:
    We use observations of boundary layer methane from the SEAC(4)RS aircraft campaign over the Southeast US in August-September 2013 to estimate methane emissions in that region through an inverse analysis with up to 0.25 degrees x 0.3125 degrees (25 x 25 km(2)) resolution and with full error characterization. The Southeast US is a major source region for methane including large contributions from oil and gas production and wetlands. Our inversion uses state-of-the-art emission inventories as prior estimates, including a gridded version of the anthropogenic EPA Greenhouse Gas Inventory and the mean of the WetCHARTs ensemble for wetlands. Inversion results are independently verified by comparison with surface (NOAA/ESRL) and column (TCCON) methane observations. Our posterior estimates for the SoutheastUS are 12.8 +/- 0.9Tga(-1) for anthropogenic sources (no significant change from the gridded EPA inventory) and 9.4 +/- 0.8 Tga(-1) for wetlands (27 % decrease from the mean in the WetCHARTs ensemble). The largest source of error in the WetCHARTs wetlands ensemble is the land cover map specification of wetland areal extent. Our results support the accuracy of the EPA anthropogenic inventory on a regional scale but there are significant local discrepancies for oil and gas production fields, suggesting that emission factors are more variable than assumed in the EPA inventory.
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