1Center for Global Environmental Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
2Faculty of Science, Ibaraki University, Mito, Japan
3Department of Chemical Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo, Japan
4Central Aerological Observatory, Dolgoprudny, Russia
Abstract. In-situ observation of the atmospheric CO2, CH4, and CO mixing ratios at Hateruma Island (HAT, 24.05° N, 123.80° E) often show synoptic-scale variations with correlative elevations during winter, associated with air transport from the East Asian countries. We examine winter (November–March) trends in ΔCH4 / ΔCO2, ΔCO / ΔCO2, and ΔCO / ΔCH4 observed at Hateruma over the period 1999 to 2010. Although the ratios ΔCH4 / ΔCO2 and ΔCO / ΔCO2 both show an overall gradual decrease over the study period due to a recent rapid increase in fossil fuel consumption in China, we note that ΔCH4 / ΔCO2 and ΔCO / ΔCO2 remains relatively flat (no trend) during 2005–2010 and 1999–2004, respectively. The CO/CH4 slope on the other hand shows an increasing trend during 1999–2004 but a decrease during 2005–2010. Calculation of the concentration footprint for the atmospheric observation at HAT by using the FLEXPART Lagrangian particle dispersion model indicates that most of the short-term variations are caused by emission variations from North and East China. Combined with a set of reported emission maps, we have estimated the temporal changes in the annual CH4 and CO emissions from China under the assumption that the estimate of the fossil fuel-derived CO2 emissions based on the energy statistics is accurate. The estimated annual CH4 emissions, corresponding to non-seasonal sources or anthropogenic sources without rice fields, show a nearly constant value of 39 ± 6 TgCH4 yr−1 during 1998–2002, and then gradually increases to 46 ± 7 TgCH4 yr−1 in 2009/2010. The estimated annual CO emissions increase from 134 ± 26 TgCO yr−1 in 1998/1999 to 182 ± 33 TgCO yr−1 in 2004/2005, level off after 2005, and then slightly decrease to less than 160 TgCO yr−1 in 2008–2010.