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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-709
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-709
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 22 Oct 2019

Submitted as: research article | 22 Oct 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Methane Emissions from the Munich Oktoberfest

Jia Chen1,*, Florian Dietrich1,*, Hossein Maazallahi2,4, Andreas Forstmaier1, Dominik Winkler1, Magdalena E. G. Hofmann3, Hugo Denier van der Gon4, and Thomas Röckmann2 Jia Chen et al.
  • 1Environmental Sensing and Modeling, Technical University of Munich (TUM), Munich, Germany
  • 2Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 3Picarro B.V., 's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands
  • 4Climate, Air and Sustainability, TNO, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • *These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. This study presents the first investigation of the methane (CH4) emissions of a big festival. In 2018 we measured the CH4 emissions of Munich Oktoberfest, the world's largest folk festival, using in-situ measurements combined with a Gaussian plume dispersion model. Oktoberfest is a potential source for CH4 as a high amount of natural gas for cooking and heating is used.

Measurements were performed by walking and biking around the perimeter of the Oktoberfest premises (Theresienwiese) at different times of the day, during the week and at the weekend. The measurements show enhancements of up to 100 ppb compared to background values and measurements performed after Oktoberfest. The average emission flux of Oktoberfest is determined as 6.7 ± 0.6 μg/(m2s). Additional analyses, including the daily emission cycle and comparisons between emissions and the number of visitors, suggest that CH4 emissions of Oktoberfest are not only due to the human biogenic emissions; it is likely that fossil fuel CH4 emissions, such as incomplete combustion or loss in the gas appliances, are the major contributors to Oktoberfest emissions.

Our results can help to develop CH4 reduction policies and measures to reduce emissions at festivals and other major events in cities. Furthermore, events with a limited duration have not yet been included in the state-of-the-art emission inventories, such as TNO-MACC, EDGAR or IER. Our investigations show that these emissions are not negligible. Therefore, these events should be included in future emission inventories.

Jia Chen et al.
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Short summary
In this study we are demonstrating for the first time that large festivals can be significant methane sources, although they are so far not included in the emission inventories. We performed a mobile survey to determine the Oktoberfest emissions, and showed that these emissions are not only based on human biogenic activities, but are fossil-fuel related. Our study provides the basis to develop reduction policies for such events and a new pathway to mitigate fossil-fuel related methane emissions.
In this study we are demonstrating for the first time that large festivals can be significant...
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