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After a period of stagnation, atmospheric methane started to rise again in 2007. The main drivers are assumed to be increased wetland emissions and fossil fuel production. Here, we quantify the oil and natural gas emission contribution. Our estimate is inferred from ground-based column observations of methane and ethane. We find a significant oil-gas contribution of at least 39% (18%, 73%) in three emission scenarios, calling for emission reduction strategies in growing oil and gas industries.
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Articles | Volume 16, issue 5
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 3227–3244, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-3227-2016

Special issue: Twenty-five years of operations of the Network for the Detection...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 3227–3244, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-3227-2016

Research article 11 Mar 2016

Research article | 11 Mar 2016

Contribution of oil and natural gas production to renewed increase in atmospheric methane (2007–2014): top–down estimate from ethane and methane column observations

Petra Hausmann et al.

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Cited articles

Akagi, S. K., Yokelson, R. J., Wiedinmyer, C., Alvarado, M. J., Reid, J. S., Karl, T., Crounse, J. D., and Wennberg, P. O.: Emission factors for open and domestic biomass burning for use in atmospheric models, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 4039–4072, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-11-4039-2011, 2011.
Andreae, M. O. and Merlet, P.: Emission of trace gases and aerosols from biomass burning, Global Biogeochem. Cy., 15, 955–966, 2001.
Angelbratt, J., Mellqvist, J., Simpson, D., Jonson, J. E., Blumenstock, T., Borsdorff, T., Duchatelet, P., Forster, F., Hase, F., Mahieu, E., De Mazière, M., Notholt, J., Petersen, A. K., Raffalski, U., Servais, C., Sussmann, R., Warneke, T., and Vigouroux, C.: Carbon monoxide (CO) and ethane (C2H6) trends from ground-based solar FTIR measurements at six European stations, comparison and sensitivity analysis with the EMEP model, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 9253–9269, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-11-9253-2011, 2011.
Aydin, M., Verhulst, K. R., Saltzman, E. S., Battle, M. O., Montzka, S. A., Blake, D. R., Tang, Q., and Prather, M. J.: Recent decreases in fossil-fuel emissions of ethane and methane derived from firn air, Nature, 476, 198–201, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature10352, 2011.
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Short summary
After a period of stagnation, atmospheric methane started to rise again in 2007. The main drivers are assumed to be increased wetland emissions and fossil fuel production. Here, we quantify the oil and natural gas emission contribution. Our estimate is inferred from ground-based column observations of methane and ethane. We find a significant oil-gas contribution of at least 39% (18%, 73%) in three emission scenarios, calling for emission reduction strategies in growing oil and gas industries.
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