Tropical methane emissions explain recent global atmospheric changes: study-Xinhua

Tropical methane emissions explain recent global atmospheric changes: study

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-03-19 13:56:46

BEIJING, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Tropical terrestrial emissions could explain more than 80 percent of the observed changes in the global atmospheric methane growth rate over the 2010-2019 period, showed the latest study by a joint research team.

Methane concentration in the atmosphere has more than doubled since the pre-industrial era, contributing 20 percent of present-day human-induced global warming. according to Liu Yi, a researcher with the Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Tropical terrestrial methane emissions, as the main contributor, represent about 60 percent of the global totals and describe 84 percent of the global annual mean growth rate in the 2010s, said the study published online in the journal Nature Communications.

Large variations in the growth of atmospheric methane, a prominent greenhouse gas, are driven by a diverse range of anthropogenic and natural emissions and by loss from oxidation by the hydroxyl radical.

Researchers of the joint study team used a decade-long dataset (2010-2019) of satellite retrievals of methane and surface measurements to constrain methane posterior emissions.

Using correlative meteorological analyses, researchers find strong seasonal correlations between large-scale changes in sea surface temperature over the tropical oceans and regional variations in methane emissions over tropical South America and tropical Africa.

Therefore, existing predictive skills for sea surface temperature variations could be used to help forecast variations in global atmospheric methane, according to the research team.