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acp-23-8039-2023.pdf (6.23 MB)

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

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posted on 2024-05-17, 12:10 authored by R Liang, Y Zhang, W Chen, P Zhang, J Liu, C Chen, H Mao, G Shen, Z Qu, Z Chen, M Zhou, P Wang, RJ Parker, H Boesch, A Lorente, JD Maasakkers, I Aben
We apply atmospheric methane column retrievals from two different satellite instruments (Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite - GOSAT; TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument - TROPOMI) to a regional inversion framework to quantify East Asian methane emissions for 2019 at 0.5ĝĝĝ0.625ĝ 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 with identically configured inversions. Comparison of the results from the two inversions shows similar correction patterns to the prior inventory in central northern China, central southern China, northeastern China, and Bangladesh, with less than 2.6ĝTgĝa-1 differences in regional posterior emissions. The two inversions, however, disagree over some important regions, particularly in northern India and eastern China. The methane emissions inferred from GOSAT observations are 7.7ĝTgĝa-1 higher than those from TROPOMI observations over northern India but 6.4ĝTgĝa-1 lower over eastern China. The discrepancies between the two inversions are robust against varied inversion configurations (i.e., assimilation window and error specifications). We find that the lower methane emissions from eastern 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 intercomparison 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 (almost no observations by GOSAT vs. good spatial coverage by TROPOMI) over the Indo-Gangetic Plain. The two inversions also differ substantially in their posterior estimates for northwestern China and neighboring Kazakhstan, which is mainly due to seasonally varying biases between GOSAT and TROPOMI XCH4 data that correlate with changes in surface albedo.


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College of Science & Engineering College of Science & Engineering/Physics & Astronomy


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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics






8039 - 8057


Copernicus GmbH





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Dr Robert Parker

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Data Access Statement

The TROPOMI methane observations are from (Lorente et al., 2021b). The GOSAT methane observations are the University of Leicester GOSAT Proxy XCH4 v9.0 accessible through (Parker and Boesch, 2020). Surface observations at PDI are downloaded from (Nguyen and Steinbacher, 2021). Surface observations at AMY, LLN, UUM, and WLG and aircraft observations from the CARIBIC project are available via the NOAA ObsPack CH4 product (Schuldt et al., 2021). The Xianghe FTIR CH4 data are accessible through (Yang et al., 2019). The Hefei FTIR CH4 from the TCCON network can be accessed by contacting Cheng Liu at the University of Science and Technology of China.

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