Title: Global column-averaged methane mixing ratios from 2003 to 2009 as derived from SCIAMACHY: Trends and variability
Authors: FRANKENBERG. C.ABEN IlseBERGAMASCHI PeterDLUGOKENCKY EdwardVAN HEES RHOUWELING SanderVAN DER MEER PSNEL RTOL P
Citation: JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-ATMOSPHERES vol. 116 no. D04302 p. 1-12
Publisher: AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC59979
ISSN: 0148-0227
URI: http://www.agu.org/journals/jd/jd1104/2010JD014849/2010JD014849.pdf
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC59979
DOI: 10.1029/2010JD014849
Type: Articles in Journals
Abstract: After a decade of stable or slightly decreasing global methane concentrations, ground-based in situ data show that CH4 began increasing again in 2007 and that this increase continued through 2009. So far, space-based retrievals sensitive to the lower troposphere in the time period under consideration have not been available. Here we report a long-term data set of column-averaged methane mixing ratios retrieved from spectra of the Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Cartography (SCIAMACHY) instrument onboard Envisat. The retrieval quality after 2005 was severely affected by degrading detector pixels within the methane 2v3 absorption band. We identified the most crucial problems in SCIAMACHY detector degradation and overcame the problem by applying a strict pixel mask as well as a new dark current characterization. Even though retrieval precision after the end of 2005 is invariably degraded, consistent methane retrievals from 2003 through 2009 are now possible. Regional time series in the Sahara, Australia, tropical Africa, South America, and Asia show the methane increase in 2007¿2009, but we cannot yet draw a firm conclusion concerning the origin of the increase. Tropical Africa even seems to exhibit a negative anomaly in 2006, but an impact from changes in SCIAMACHY detector degradation cannot be excluded yet. Over Assakrem, Algeria, we observed strong similarities between SCIAMACHY measurements and ground-based data in deseasonalized time series. We further show long-term SCIAMACHY xCH4 averages at high spatial resolution that provide further insight into methane variations on regional scales. The Red Basin in China exhibits, on average, the highest methane abundance worldwide, while other localized features such as the Sudd wetlands in southern Sudan can also be identified in SCIAMACHY xCH4 averages.
JRC Institute:Institute for Environment and Sustainability

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