Articles | Volume 16, issue 12
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 7943–7956, 2016
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 7943–7956, 2016

Research article 30 Jun 2016

Research article | 30 Jun 2016

Role of OH variability in the stalling of the global atmospheric CH4 growth rate from 1999 to 2006

Joe McNorton et al.

Data sets

NOAA CH4 and CH3CCL3 E. J. Dlugokencky, E. G. Nisbet, R. Fisher, and D. Lowry

AGAGE CH4 and CH3CCL3 R. G. Prinn, R. F. Weiss, P. J. Fraser, P. G. Simmonds, D. O'Doherty, P. Salameh, L. Porter, P. Krummel, R. J. Wang, B. Miller, C. Harth, B. Greally, F. A. Van Woy, L. P. Steele, J. Mühle, G. Sturrock, F. N. Alyea, J. Huang, and D. E. Hartley

Short summary
Methane (CH4) is an important greenhouse gas. The growth of atmospheric CH4 stalled from 1999 to 2006, with current explanations focussed mainly on changing surface fluxes. We combine models with observations and meteorological data to assess the atmospheric contribution to CH4 changes. We find that variations in mean atmospheric hydroxyl concentration can explain part of the stall in growth. Our study highlights the role of multi-annual variability in atmospheric chemistry in global CH4 trends.
Final-revised paper