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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-438
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-438
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 16 Jun 2020

Submitted as: research article | 16 Jun 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Quantifying sources of Brazil's CH4 emissions between 2010 and 2018 from satellite data

Rachel L. Tunnicliffe1,2, Anita L. Ganesan1, Robert J. Parker3,4, Hartmut Boesch3,4, Nicola Gedney5, Benjamin Poulter6, Zhen Zhang7, Jošt V. Lavrič8, David Walter8,9, Matthew Rigby2, Stephan Henne10, Dickon Young2, and Simon O'Doherty2 Rachel L. Tunnicliffe et al.
  • 1School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  • 2School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  • 3National Centre for Earth Observation, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • 4Earth Observation Science, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • 5Met Office Hadley Centre, Joint Centre for Hydrometeorological Research, Exeter, UK
  • 6NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, Greenbelt, USA
  • 7Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, USA
  • 8Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Mainz, Germany
  • 9Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
  • 10Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland

Abstract. Brazil's CH4 emissions over the period 2010–2018 were derived for the three main sectors of activity: anthropogenic, wetland and biomass burning. Our inverse modelling estimates were derived from GOSAT satellite measurements of XCH4 combined with surface data from Ragged Point, Barbados and the high-resolution regional atmospheric transport model NAME. We find that Brazil's mean emissions over 2010–2018 are 33.6 ± 3.6 Tg/yr, which are comprised of 19.0 ± 2.6 Tg/yr from anthropogenic (primarily related to agriculture and waste), 13.0 ± 1.9 Tg/yr from wetlands and 1.7 ± 0.3 Tg/yr from biomass burning sources. In addition, between the 2011–2013 and 2014–2018 periods, Brazil's mean emissions rose by 6.9 ± 5.3 Tg/yr and this increase may have contributed to the accelerated global methane growth rate observed during the latter period. We find that wetland emissions from the Western Amazon increased during the start of the 2015–16 El Nino by 3.7 ± 2.7 Tg/yr and this is likely driven by increased surface temperatures. We also find that our estimates of anthropogenic emissions are consistent with those reported by Brazil to the United Framework Convention on Climate Change. We show that satellite data is beneficial for constraining national-scale CH4 emissions, and, through a series of sensitivity studies and validation experiments using data not assimilated in the inversion, we demonstrate that calibrated ground-based data are important to include alongside satellite data in a regional inversion, and that inversions must account for any offsets between the two data streams and their representations by models.

Rachel L. Tunnicliffe et al.

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Rachel L. Tunnicliffe et al.

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Short summary
This study quantifies Brazil’s emissions of a potent atmospheric greenhouse gas, methane. The study is in the field of atmospheric modelling and uses remotely sensed and surface measurements of methane concentrations and an atmospheric transport model to interpret the data. Because of Brazil’s large emissions from wetlands, agriculture and biomass burning, these emissions affect global methane concentrations and thus are of global significance.
This study quantifies Brazil’s emissions of a potent atmospheric greenhouse gas, methane. The...
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