Natural and anthropogenic methane fluxes in Eurasia: a mesoscale quantification by generalized atmospheric inversion

Berchet, A.; Pison, I.; Chevallier, F.; Paris, J.-D.; Bousquet, P.; Bonne, J.-L.; Arshinov, M. Y.; Belan, B. D.; Cressot, C.; Davydov, D. K.; Dlugokencky, E. J.; Fofonov, A. V.; Galanin, A.; Lavrič, J.; Machida, T.; Parker, R.; Sasakawa, M.; Spahni, Renato; Stocker, Benjamin and Winderlich, J. (2015). Natural and anthropogenic methane fluxes in Eurasia: a mesoscale quantification by generalized atmospheric inversion. Biogeosciences, 12(18), pp. 5393-5414. Copernicus Publications 10.5194/bg-12-5393-2015

bg-12-5393-2015.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (6MB) | Preview

Eight surface observation sites providing quasi-continuous measurements of atmospheric methane mixingratios have been operated since the mid-2000’s in Siberia. For the first time in a single work, we assimilate 1 year of these in situ observations in an atmospheric inversion. Our objective is to quantify methane surface fluxes from anthropogenic and wetland sources at the mesoscale in the Siberian lowlands for the year 2010. To do so, we first inquire about the way the inversion uses the observations and the way the fluxes are constrained by the observation sites. As atmospheric inver- sions at the mesoscale suffer from mis-quantified sources of uncertainties, we follow recent innovations in inversion techniques and use a new inversion approach which quantifies the uncertainties more objectively than the previous inversion systems. We find that, due to errors in the representation of the atmospheric transport and redundant pieces of information, only one observation every few days is found valuable by the inversion. The remaining high-resolution quasi-continuous signal is representative of very local emission patterns difficult to analyse with a mesoscale system. An analysis of the use of information by the inversion also reveals that the observation sites constrain methane emissions within a radius of 500 km. More observation sites than the ones currently in operation are then necessary to constrain the whole Siberian lowlands. Still, the fluxes within the constrained areas are quantified with objectified uncertainties. Finally, the tolerance intervals for posterior methane fluxes are of roughly 20 % (resp. 50 %) of the fluxes for anthropogenic (resp. wetland) sources. About 50–70 % of Siberian lowlands emissions are constrained by the inversion on average on an annual basis. Extrapolating the figures on the constrained areas to the whole Siberian lowlands, we find a regional methane budget of 5–28 TgCH4 for the year 2010, i.e. 1–5 % of the global methane emissions. As very few in situ observations are available in the region of interest, observations of methane total columns from the Greenhouse Gas Observing SATellite (GOSAT) are tentatively used for the evaluation of the inversion results, but they exhibit only a marginal signal from the fluxes within the region of interest.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Spahni, Renato and Stocker, Benjamin


500 Science > 530 Physics




Copernicus Publications




Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

02 Dec 2015 07:54

Last Modified:

02 Dec 2015 07:54

Publisher DOI:





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback