02 Aug 2022
02 Aug 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

East Asian methane emissions inferred from high-resolution inversions of GOSAT and TROPOMI observations: a comparative and evaluative analysis

Ruosi Liang1,2,3, Yuzhong Zhang2,3, Jingran Liu1,2,3, Wei Chen1,2,3, Peixuan Zhang2,3,4, Cuihong Chen5, Huiqin Mao5, Guofeng Shen6, Zhen Qu7, Zichong Chen7, Minqiang Zhou8, Pucai Wang8, Robert J. Parker9,10, Hartmut Boesch9,10, Alba Lorente11, Joannes D. Maasakkers11, and Ilse Aben11 Ruosi Liang et al.
  • 1Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Coastal Environment and Resources of Zhejiang Province, School of Engineering, Westlake University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
  • 3Institute of Advanced Technology, Westlake Institute for Advanced Study, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
  • 4Fudan University, Shanghai, China
  • 5Center for Satellite Application on Ecology and Environment, Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China, Beijing, China
  • 6Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • 7School of Engineering and Applied Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 8Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 9SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 10National Centre for Earth Observation, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • 11Earth Observation Science, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK

Abstract. We apply atmospheric methane column retrievals from two different satellite instruments (GOSAT and TROPOMI) to a regional inversion framework to quantify East Asian methane emissions for 2019 at 0.5° × 0.625° horizontal resolution. The goal is to assess if GOSAT (relatively mature but sparse) and TROPOMI (new and dense) observations inform consistent methane emissions from East Asia. Comparison of the results from the two inversions show similar correction patterns to the prior inventory in Central North China, Central South China, Northeast China, and Bangladesh, with less than 2.7 Tg a−1 differences in regional posterior emissions. The two inversions, however, disagree over some important regions particularly in northern India and East China. The inferred methane emissions by GOSAT observations are 7.7 Tg a−1 higher than those by TROPOMI observations over northern India but 7.0 Tg a−1 lower over East China. We find that the lower methane emissions from East China inferred by the GOSAT inversion are more consistent with independent ground-based in situ and total column (TCCON) observations, indicating that the TROPOMI retrievals may have high XCH4 biases in this region. We also evaluate inversion results against tropospheric aircraft observations over India during 2012–2014 by using a consistent GOSAT inversion of earlier years as an inter-comparison platform. This indirect evaluation favors lower methane emissions from northern India inferred by the TROPOMI inversion. We find that in this case the discrepancy in emission inference is contributed by differences in data coverage (highly uneven observations by GOSAT vs. good spatial coverage by TROPOMI) over northern India.

Ruosi Liang 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-2022-508', Anonymous Referee #1, 16 Aug 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Yuzhong Zhang, 12 Dec 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-508', Anonymous Referee #2, 31 Oct 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Yuzhong Zhang, 12 Dec 2022

Ruosi Liang et al.

Ruosi Liang et al.


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Short summary
We quantify East Asian methane emissions with regional inversions of satellite observations from two different instruments (GOSAT and TROPOMI). The two inversions show discrepancies in methane emissions from northern India and East China. Evaluation against independent observations supports TROPOMI-derived emissions in norther India and GOSAT-derived emissions in East China.