Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-114
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-114

  05 Mar 2021

05 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Shipborne measurements of methane and carbon dioxide in the Middle East and Mediterranean areas and contribution from oil and gas emissions

Jean-Daniel Paris1,3, Aurélie Riandet1,a, Efstratios Bourtsoukidis2,3, Marc Delmotte1, Antoine Berchet1, Jonathan Williams2,3, Lisa Ernle2, Ivan Tadic2, Hartwig Harder2, and Jos Lelieveld2,3 Jean-Daniel Paris et al.
  • 1Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, UMR8212, IPSL, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 2Department of Atmospheric Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz 55128, Germany
  • 3Energy, Environment and Water Research Center, The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • anow at: Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, Avignon Université, IRD, IMBE, Aix-en-Provence, France

Abstract. The increase of atmospheric methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2), two main anthropogenic greenhouse gases, is largely driven by fossil sources. Sources and sinks remain insufficiently characterised in the Mediterranean and Middle East areas, where very few in situ measurements area available. We investigated the atmospheric distribution of CH4 and CO2 in the region through shipborne measurement in July and August 2017. High mixing ratios were observed over the Suez Canal, Red Sea and Arabian Gulf, while generally lower mixing ratios were observed over the Gulfs of Aden and Oman. We probe the origin of CO2 and CH4 excess mixing ratio by using correlations with light alkanes and through the use of a Lagrangian model coupled to two different emission inventories of anthropogenic sources. We find that the CO2 and especially the CH4 enhancements are mainly linked to nearby oil and gas (O&G) activities over the Arabian Gulf, and a mixture of other sources over the Red Sea. The isomeric ratio of pentane is shown to be a useful indicator of the O&G component of atmospheric CH4 at the regional level. Upstream emissions linked to oil in the Northern Arabian Gulf seem to be underestimated while gas-related emissions in the Southern Gulf are overestimated in our simulations. Our results highlight the need for improvement of inventories in the area to better characterize the changes in magnitude and the complex distribution of the O&G sources in the Middle East.

Jean-Daniel Paris et al.

Status: open (until 30 Apr 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-114', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 Mar 2021 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2021-114', Anonymous Referee #2, 14 Apr 2021 reply

Jean-Daniel Paris et al.

Jean-Daniel Paris et al.

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Short summary
We measured atmospheric CH4 and CO2 in the Middle East. The Gulfs of Aden and Oman were found to be in a distinct, cleaner, air mass. Elsewhere, we probe the origin of CO2 and CH4 with a combination of complementary chemistry measurements and an atmospheric model. We find strong influence from nearby oil and gas production over the Arabian Gulf, and a mixture of urban and industrial sources over the Red Sea. Inventories overestimate gas-related sources but underestimate oil-related emissions.
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