Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-246
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-246
 
11 Apr 2022
11 Apr 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Quantifying methane emissions from the global scale down to point sources using satellite observations of atmospheric methane

Daniel J. Jacob1, Daniel J. Varon1,2, Daniel H. Cusworth3,4, Philip E. Dennison5, Christian Frankenberg6,7, Ritesh Gautam8, Luis Guanter9,10, John Kelley11, Jason McKeever2, Lesley E. Ott12, Benjamin Poulter12, Zhen Qu1, Andrew K. Thorpe7, John R. Worden7, and Riley M. Duren3,4,7 Daniel J. Jacob et al.
  • 1School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, 02138, USA
  • 2GHGSat, Inc., Montreal, H2W 1Y5, Canada
  • 3Arizona Institutes for Resilience, University of Arizona, Tucson, 85721, USA
  • 4Carbon Mapper, Pasadena, 91109, USA
  • 5Department of Geography, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 84322, USA
  • 6Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, 91125, USA
  • 7Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, 91109, USA
  • 8Environmental Defense Fund, Washington, DC, 20009, USA
  • 9Research Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Valencia, 46022, Spain
  • 10Environmental Defense Fund, Amsterdam, 1017, The Netherlands
  • 11GeoSapient, Inc., Cypress, 77429, USA
  • 12NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, 20771, USA

Abstract. We review the capability of current and scheduled satellite observations of atmospheric methane in the shortwave infrared (SWIR) to quantify methane emissions from the global scale down to point sources. We cover retrieval methods, precision and accuracy requirements, inverse and mass balance methods to infer emissions, source detection thresholds, and observing system completeness. We classify satellite instruments as area flux mappers and point source imagers, with complementary attributes. Area flux mappers are high-precision (< 1 %) instruments with 0.1–10 km pixel size designed to quantify total methane emissions on regional to global scales. Point source imagers are fine-pixel (< 60 m) instruments designed to quantify individual point sources by imaging of the plumes. Current area flux mappers include GOSAT (2009–present), which provides a high-quality record for interpretation of long-term methane trends, and TROPOMI (2018–present) which provides global continuous daily mapping to quantify emissions on regional scales. Current point source imagers include the GHGSat constellation and several hyperspectral and multispectral land imaging sensors (PRISMA, Sentinel-2, Landsat-8/9, WorldView-3), with detection thresholds in the 100–10000 kg h-1 range. Future area flux mappers including MethaneSAT, GOSAT-GW, MicroCarb, GeoCarb, and CO2M will increase the capability to quantify emissions from source regions, and the MERLIN lidar will improve observation of the Arctic. The future constellation of Carbon Mapper point source imagers will achieve high observing system completeness for point sources through high spatial coverage and frequent return times.

Daniel J. Jacob et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-246', Anonymous Referee #1, 07 May 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-246', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 May 2022

Daniel J. Jacob et al.

Daniel J. Jacob et al.

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Short summary
We review the capability of current and planned satellite observations of atmospheric methane to quantify methane emissions from the global scale down to point sources.
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