An extended Kalman-filter for regional scale inverse emission estimation
Abstract. A Kalman-filter based inverse emission estimation method for long-lived trace gases is presented for use in conjunction with a Lagrangian particle dispersion model like FLEXPART. The sequential nature of the approach allows tracing slow seasonal and interannual changes rather than estimating a single period-mean emission field. Other important features include the estimation of a slowly varying concentration background at each measurement station, the possibility to constrain the solution to non-negative emissions, the quantification of uncertainties, the consideration of temporal correlations in the residuals, and the applicability to potentially large inversion problems. The method is first demonstrated for a set of synthetic observations created from a prescribed emission field with different levels of (correlated) noise, which closely mimics true observations. It is then applied to real observations of the three halocarbons HFC-125, HFC-152a and HCFC-141b at the remote research stations Jungfraujoch and Mace Head for the quantification of emissions in Western European countries from 2006 to 2010. Estimated HFC-125 emissions are mostly consistent with national totals reported to UNFCCC in the framework of the Kyoto Protocol and show a generally increasing trend over the considered period. Results for HFC-152a are much more variable with estimated emissions being both higher and lower than reported emissions in different countries. The highest emissions of the order of 700–800 Mg yr−1 are estimated for Italy, which so far does not report HFC-152a emissions. Emissions of HCFC-141b show a continuing strong decrease as expected due to its controls in developed countries under the Montreal Protocol. Emissions from France, however, were still rather large, in the range of 700–1000 Mg yr−1 in the years 2006 and 2007 but strongly declined thereafter.