Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 8, 13453-13478, 2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is distributed
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Methane plume over South Asia during the monsoon season: satellite observation and model simulation
X. Xiong1,2, S. Houweling3, J. Wei1,2, E. Maddy1,2, F. Sun1,2, and C. Barnet1
1NOAA/NESDIS/Center for Satellite Applications and Res., Camp Springs, Maryland, USA
2Perot Systems Government Services, Fairfax, Virginia, USA
3Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Abstract. Satellite observations of methane (CH4) using the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on the EOS/Aqua platform from 2003–2007 demonstrate a strong, plume-like enhancement of CH4 in the middle to upper troposphere over the South Asia during July, August and September, and its maximum occurs in early September. Simulations using the global tracer model version 3 (TM3) also show similar seasonal enhancement of CH4 in the same region. The model results also suggest that this enhancement is associated with transport process and local surface emissions, thus the observations to tropospheric CH4during the monsoon season may be used to constrain the models for a better estimation of Asian CH4 sources. Further comparisons between AIRS observations and the model simulations indicate a possible overestimate of CH4 emissions from rice paddies in Southeast Asia. Moreover, the observed tropospheric CH4 enhancement from AIRS provides evidence for the strong transport of atmospheric pollutants from the lower to the upper troposphere in Asia during the monsoon season, and the observed rapid disappearance of local CH4 maximum in September may provide valuable information for studying the dissipation of the Tibetan anticyclone and the withdrawal of monsoon.

Citation: Xiong, X., Houweling, S., Wei, J., Maddy, E., Sun, F., and Barnet, C.: Methane plume over South Asia during the monsoon season: satellite observation and model simulation, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 8, 13453-13478, doi:10.5194/acpd-8-13453-2008, 2008.
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