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2.
Glob Chang Biol ; 27(23): 6005-6024, 2021 12.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34478589

RESUMEN

Droughts in a warming climate have become more common and more extreme, making understanding forest responses to water stress increasingly pressing. Analysis of water stress in trees has long focused on water potential in xylem and leaves, which influences stomatal closure and water flow through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. At the same time, changes of vegetation water content (VWC) are linked to a range of tree responses, including fluxes of water and carbon, mortality, flammability, and more. Unlike water potential, which requires demanding in situ measurements, VWC can be retrieved from remote sensing measurements, particularly at microwave frequencies using radar and radiometry. Here, we highlight key frontiers through which VWC has the potential to significantly increase our understanding of forest responses to water stress. To validate remote sensing observations of VWC at landscape scale and to better relate them to data assimilation model parameters, we introduce an ecosystem-scale analog of the pressure-volume curve, the non-linear relationship between average leaf or branch water potential and water content commonly used in plant hydraulics. The sources of variability in these ecosystem-scale pressure-volume curves and their relationship to forest response to water stress are discussed. We further show to what extent diel, seasonal, and decadal dynamics of VWC reflect variations in different processes relating the tree response to water stress. VWC can also be used for inferring belowground conditions-which are difficult to impossible to observe directly. Lastly, we discuss how a dedicated geostationary spaceborne observational system for VWC, when combined with existing datasets, can capture diel and seasonal water dynamics to advance the science and applications of global forest vulnerability to future droughts.


Asunto(s)
Sequías , Ecosistema , Bosques , Hojas de la Planta , Árboles , Xilema
3.
Sci Adv ; 7(27)2021 Jun.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34193415

RESUMEN

Industrial emissions play a major role in the global methane budget. The Permian basin is thought to be responsible for almost half of the methane emissions from all U.S. oil- and gas-producing regions, but little is known about individual contributors, a prerequisite for mitigation. We use a new class of satellite measurements acquired during several days in 2019 and 2020 to perform the first regional-scale and high-resolution survey of methane sources in the Permian. We find an unexpectedly large number of extreme point sources (37 plumes with emission rates >500 kg hour-1), which account for a range between 31 and 53% of the estimated emissions in the sampled area. Our analysis reveals that new facilities are major emitters in the area, often due to inefficient flaring operations (20% of detections). These results put current practices into question and are relevant to guide emission reduction efforts.

4.
Nature ; 592(7852): 65-69, 2021 04.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33790442

RESUMEN

Year-to-year changes in carbon uptake by terrestrial ecosystems have an essential role in determining atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations1. It remains uncertain to what extent temperature and water availability can explain these variations at the global scale2-5. Here we use factorial climate model simulations6 and show that variability in soil moisture drives 90 per cent of the inter-annual variability in global land carbon uptake, mainly through its impact on photosynthesis. We find that most of this ecosystem response occurs indirectly as soil moisture-atmosphere feedback amplifies temperature and humidity anomalies and enhances the direct effects of soil water stress. The strength of this feedback mechanism explains why coupled climate models indicate that soil moisture has a dominant role4, which is not readily apparent from land surface model simulations and observational analyses2,5. These findings highlight the need to account for feedback between soil and atmospheric dryness when estimating the response of the carbon cycle to climatic change globally5,7, as well as when conducting field-scale investigations of the response of the ecosystem to droughts8,9. Our results show that most of the global variability in modelled land carbon uptake is driven by temperature and vapour pressure deficit effects that are controlled by soil moisture.


Asunto(s)
Atmósfera/química , Ciclo del Carbono , Dióxido de Carbono/metabolismo , Ecosistema , Retroalimentación , Suelo/química , Agua/análisis , Dióxido de Carbono/análisis , Humedad , Fotosíntesis , Temperatura , Agua/metabolismo
5.
New Phytol ; 230(4): 1550-1561, 2021 05.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33576001

RESUMEN

Nocturnal transpiration is widely observed across species and biomes, and may significantly impact global water, carbon, and energy budgets. However, it remains elusive why plants lose water at night and how to model it at large scales. We hypothesized that plants optimize nighttime leaf diffusive conductance (gwn ) to balance potential daytime photosynthetic benefits and nocturnal transpiration benefits. We quantified nighttime benefits from respiratory reductions due to evaporative leaf cooling. We described nighttime costs in terms of a reduced carbon gain during the day because of water use at night. We measured nighttime stomatal responses and tested our model with water birch (Betula occidentalis) saplings grown in a glasshouse. The gwn of water birch decreased with drier soil, higher atmospheric CO2 , wetter air, lower leaf temperature, and lower leaf respiration rate. Our model predicted all these responses correctly, except for the response of gwn to air humidity. Our results also suggested that the slow decrease in gwn after sunset could be associated with decreasing leaf respiration. The optimality-based nocturnal transpiration model smoothly integrates with daytime stomatal optimization approaches, and thus has the potential to quantitatively predict nocturnal transpiration across space and time.


Asunto(s)
Fotosíntesis , Transpiración de Plantas , Hojas de la Planta , Estomas de Plantas , Suelo , Agua
6.
New Phytol ; 229(5): 2586-2600, 2021 03.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33118171

RESUMEN

Evergreen conifer forests are the most prevalent land cover type in North America. Seasonal changes in the color of evergreen forest canopies have been documented with near-surface remote sensing, but the physiological mechanisms underlying these changes, and the implications for photosynthetic uptake, have not been fully elucidated. Here, we integrate on-the-ground phenological observations, leaf-level physiological measurements, near surface hyperspectral remote sensing and digital camera imagery, tower-based CO2 flux measurements, and a predictive model to simulate seasonal canopy color dynamics. We show that seasonal changes in canopy color occur independently of new leaf production, but track changes in chlorophyll fluorescence, the photochemical reflectance index, and leaf pigmentation. We demonstrate that at winter-dormant sites, seasonal changes in canopy color can be used to predict the onset of canopy-level photosynthesis in spring, and its cessation in autumn. Finally, we parameterize a simple temperature-based model to predict the seasonal cycle of canopy greenness, and we show that the model successfully simulates interannual variation in the timing of changes in canopy color. These results provide mechanistic insight into the factors driving seasonal changes in evergreen canopy color and provide opportunities to monitor and model seasonal variation in photosynthetic activity using color-based vegetation indices.


Asunto(s)
Tracheophyta , Clima , Bosques , América del Norte , Fotosíntesis , Hojas de la Planta , Estaciones del Año
7.
Glob Chang Biol ; 27(6): 1144-1156, 2021 Mar.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33002262

RESUMEN

Effective use of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) to estimate and monitor gross primary production (GPP) in terrestrial ecosystems requires a comprehensive understanding and quantification of the relationship between SIF and GPP. To date, this understanding is incomplete and somewhat controversial in the literature. Here we derived the GPP/SIF ratio from multiple data sources as a diagnostic metric to explore its global-scale patterns of spatial variation and potential climatic dependence. We found that the growing season GPP/SIF ratio varied substantially across global land surfaces, with the highest ratios consistently found in boreal regions. Spatial variation in GPP/SIF was strongly modulated by climate variables. The most striking pattern was a consistent decrease in GPP/SIF from cold-and-wet climates to hot-and-dry climates. We propose that the reduction in GPP/SIF with decreasing moisture availability may be related to stomatal responses to aridity. Furthermore, we show that GPP/SIF can be empirically modeled from climate variables using a machine learning (random forest) framework, which can improve the modeling of ecosystem production and quantify its uncertainty in global terrestrial biosphere models. Our results point to the need for targeted field and experimental studies to better understand the patterns observed and to improve the modeling of the relationship between SIF and GPP over broad scales.


Asunto(s)
Clorofila , Ecosistema , Clorofila/análisis , Monitoreo del Ambiente , Fluorescencia , Fotosíntesis , Luz Solar
8.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 1900, 2020 04 20.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32312976

RESUMEN

The terrestrial carbon sink has significantly increased in the past decades, but the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. The current synthesis of process-based estimates of land and ocean sinks requires an additional sink of 0.6 PgC yr-1 in the last decade to explain the observed airborne fraction. A concurrent global fire decline was observed in association with tropical agriculture expansion and landscape fragmentation. Here we show that a decline of 0.2 ± 0.1 PgC yr-1 in fire emissions during 2008-2014 relative to 2001-2007 also induced an additional carbon sink enhancement of 0.4 ± 0.2 PgC yr-1 attributable to carbon cycle feedbacks, amounting to a combined sink increase comparable to the 0.6 PgC yr-1 budget imbalance. Our results suggest that the indirect effects of fire, in addition to the direct emissions, is an overlooked mechanism for explaining decadal-scale changes in the land carbon sink and highlight the importance of fire management in climate mitigation.

9.
Nature ; 575(7781): 180-184, 2019 11.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31695210

RESUMEN

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and is targeted for emissions mitigation by the US state of California and other jurisdictions worldwide1,2. Unique opportunities for mitigation are presented by point-source emitters-surface features or infrastructure components that are typically less than 10 metres in diameter and emit plumes of highly concentrated methane3. However, data on point-source emissions are sparse and typically lack sufficient spatial and temporal resolution to guide their mitigation and to accurately assess their magnitude4. Here we survey more than 272,000 infrastructure elements in California using an airborne imaging spectrometer that can rapidly map methane plumes5-7. We conduct five campaigns over several months from 2016 to 2018, spanning the oil and gas, manure-management and waste-management sectors, resulting in the detection, geolocation and quantification of emissions from 564 strong methane point sources. Our remote sensing approach enables the rapid and repeated assessment of large areas at high spatial resolution for a poorly characterized population of methane emitters that often appear intermittently and stochastically. We estimate net methane point-source emissions in California to be 0.618 teragrams per year (95 per cent confidence interval 0.523-0.725), equivalent to 34-46 per cent of the state's methane inventory8 for 2016. Methane 'super-emitter' activity occurs in every sector surveyed, with 10 per cent of point sources contributing roughly 60 per cent of point-source emissions-consistent with a study of the US Four Corners region that had a different sectoral mix9. The largest methane emitters in California are a subset of landfills, which exhibit persistent anomalous activity. Methane point-source emissions in California are dominated by landfills (41 per cent), followed by dairies (26 per cent) and the oil and gas sector (26 per cent). Our data have enabled the identification of the 0.2 per cent of California's infrastructure that is responsible for these emissions. Sharing these data with collaborating infrastructure operators has led to the mitigation of anomalous methane-emission activity10.


Asunto(s)
Monitoreo del Ambiente , Metano/análisis , Administración de Residuos , California , Efecto Invernadero , Estiércol , Metano/química , Metano/metabolismo , Gas Natural , Industria del Petróleo y Gas/métodos , Petróleo , Aguas Residuales
10.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 116(44): 22393-22398, 2019 10 29.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31611384

RESUMEN

Photosynthesis of the Amazon rainforest plays an important role in the regional and global carbon cycles, but, despite considerable in situ and space-based observations, it has been intensely debated whether there is a dry-season increase in greenness and photosynthesis of the moist tropical Amazonian forests. Solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF), which is emitted by chlorophyll, has a strong positive linear relationship with photosynthesis at the canopy scale. Recent advancements have allowed us to observe SIF globally with Earth observation satellites. Here we show that forest SIF did not decrease in the early dry season and increased substantially in the late dry season and early part of wet season, using SIF data from the Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI), which has unprecedented spatial resolution and near-daily global coverage. Using in situ CO2 eddy flux data, we also show that cloud cover rarely affects photosynthesis at TROPOMI's midday overpass, a time when the forest canopy is most often light-saturated. The observed dry-season increases of forest SIF are not strongly affected by sun-sensor geometry, which was attributed as creating a pseudo dry-season green-up in the surface reflectance data. Our results provide strong evidence that greenness, SIF, and photosynthesis of the tropical Amazonian forest increase during the dry season.


Asunto(s)
Clorofila/química , Bosque Lluvioso , Imágenes Satelitales/métodos , Estaciones del Año , Luz Solar , Absorción de Radiación , Brasil , Dióxido de Carbono/metabolismo , Clorofila/metabolismo , Clorofila/efectos de la radiación , Fluorescencia , Fotosíntesis , Imágenes Satelitales/normas
11.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 116(24): 11640-11645, 2019 06 11.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31138693

RESUMEN

Northern hemisphere evergreen forests assimilate a significant fraction of global atmospheric CO2 but monitoring large-scale changes in gross primary production (GPP) in these systems is challenging. Recent advances in remote sensing allow the detection of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) emission from vegetation, which has been empirically linked to GPP at large spatial scales. This is particularly important in evergreen forests, where traditional remote-sensing techniques and terrestrial biosphere models fail to reproduce the seasonality of GPP. Here, we examined the mechanistic relationship between SIF retrieved from a canopy spectrometer system and GPP at a winter-dormant conifer forest, which has little seasonal variation in canopy structure, needle chlorophyll content, and absorbed light. Both SIF and GPP track each other in a consistent, dynamic fashion in response to environmental conditions. SIF and GPP are well correlated (R 2 = 0.62-0.92) with an invariant slope over hourly to weekly timescales. Large seasonal variations in SIF yield capture changes in photoprotective pigments and photosystem II operating efficiency associated with winter acclimation, highlighting its unique ability to precisely track the seasonality of photosynthesis. Our results underscore the potential of new satellite-based SIF products (TROPOMI, OCO-2) as proxies for the timing and magnitude of GPP in evergreen forests at an unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution.


Asunto(s)
Fotosíntesis/fisiología , Ciclo del Carbono/fisiología , Clorofila/fisiología , Clima , Ecosistema , Monitoreo del Ambiente/métodos , Fluorescencia , Bosques , Complejo de Proteína del Fotosistema II/fisiología , Estaciones del Año , Luz Solar
12.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 116(8): 2805-2813, 2019 02 19.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30733299

RESUMEN

Atmospheric methane plays a major role in controlling climate, yet contemporary methane trends (1982-2017) have defied explanation with numerous, often conflicting, hypotheses proposed in the literature. Specifically, atmospheric observations of methane from 1982 to 2017 have exhibited periods of both increasing concentrations (from 1982 to 2000 and from 2007 to 2017) and stabilization (from 2000 to 2007). Explanations for the increases and stabilization have invoked changes in tropical wetlands, livestock, fossil fuels, biomass burning, and the methane sink. Contradictions in these hypotheses arise because our current observational network cannot unambiguously link recent methane variations to specific sources. This raises some fundamental questions: (i) What do we know about sources, sinks, and underlying processes driving observed trends in atmospheric methane? (ii) How will global methane respond to changes in anthropogenic emissions? And (iii), What future observations could help resolve changes in the methane budget? To address these questions, we discuss potential drivers of atmospheric methane abundances over the last four decades in light of various observational constraints as well as process-based knowledge. While uncertainties in the methane budget exist, they should not detract from the potential of methane emissions mitigation strategies. We show that net-zero cost emission reductions can lead to a declining atmospheric burden, but can take three decades to stabilize. Moving forward, we make recommendations for observations to better constrain contemporary trends in atmospheric methane and to provide mitigation support.

13.
Remote Sens Environ ; 2312019 Sep 15.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33414568

RESUMEN

Remote sensing of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) is a rapidly advancing front in terrestrial vegetation science, with emerging capability in space-based methodologies and diverse application prospects. Although remote sensing of SIF - especially from space - is seen as a contemporary new specialty for terrestrial plants, it is founded upon a multi-decadal history of research, applications, and sensor developments in active and passive sensing of chlorophyll fluorescence. Current technical capabilities allow SIF to be measured across a range of biological, spatial, and temporal scales. As an optical signal, SIF may be assessed remotely using highly-resolved spectral sensors and state-of-the-art algorithms to distinguish the emission from reflected and/or scattered ambient light. Because the red to far-red SIF emission is detectable non-invasively, it may be sampled repeatedly to acquire spatio-temporally explicit information about photosynthetic light responses and steady-state behaviour in vegetation. Progress in this field is accelerating with innovative sensor developments, retrieval methods, and modelling advances. This review distills the historical and current developments spanning the last several decades. It highlights SIF heritage and complementarity within the broader field of fluorescence science, the maturation of physiological and radiative transfer modelling, SIF signal retrieval strategies, techniques for field and airborne sensing, advances in satellite-based systems, and applications of these capabilities in evaluation of photosynthesis and stress effects. Progress, challenges, and future directions are considered for this unique avenue of remote sensing.

14.
Science ; 362(6418)2018 11 30.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30498098

RESUMEN

Chevallier showed a column CO2 ([Formula: see text]) anomaly of ±0.5 parts per million forced by a uniform net biosphere exchange (NBE) anomaly of 2.5 gigatonnes of carbon over the tropical continents within a year, so he claimed that the inferred NBE uncertainties should be larger than presented in Liu et al We show that a much concentrated NBE anomaly led to much larger [Formula: see text] perturbations.

15.
Sci Total Environ ; 644: 982-993, 2018 Dec 10.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30743895

RESUMEN

Geological hydrocarbon gas seepage is a major global source of atmospheric methane, ethane and propane as greenhouse gases and photochemical pollutants. Natural gas seepage is generally related to faults and associated fracture intensification domains that provide conduits for natural gas from reservoir rocks to migrate upward and enter the atmosphere. In this study, we compare the case of intense gas seepage stemming directly from source rocks, mostly organic-rich fractured black shales in western New York State (NYS) versus areas with rare seepage in the more southern regions of the Appalachian Basin and the Midwest USA. In addition to thermogenic methane, western NYS shale gas seeps emit ethane and propane with C2+3 gas concentrations reaching up to 35 vol%. Fractures in NYS developed, reactivated and maintained permeability for gas as a result of Quaternary glaciation and post-glacial basin uplift. In contrast, the Appalachian regions farther south and the southern Midwest regions experienced less glacial loading and unloading than in NYS, resulting in less recent natural fracturing, as witnessed by the rarity of seepage on surface outcrops and in caves overlying gas-bearing shales and coals. The historical literature suggests that early western NYS drilling and production of oil and gas diminished shale gas pressure and resulted in declining gas seepage rates. Our survey documented 12 active western NYS natural gas seeps, whereas >32 seeps have been reported or documented since the 17th century. Preliminary tests showed that SCIAMACHY satellite data did not detect atmospheric methane anomalies over western NYS seeps.

16.
Geophys Res Lett ; 45(19): 10456-10463, 2018 Oct 16.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33104094

RESUMEN

In recent years, solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) retrieved from space borne spectrometers has been extensively used as a proxy for terrestrial photosynthesis at relatively sparse temporal and spatial scales. The near-infrared band of the recently launched TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) features the required spectral resolution and signal-to-noise ratio to retrieve SIF in a spectral range devoid of atmospheric absorption features. We find that initial TROPOMI spectra meet high expectations for a substantially improved spatio-temporal resolution (up to 7 km × 3.5 km pixels with daily revisit), representing a step change in SIF remote sensing capabilities. However, interpretation requires caution, as the broad range of viewing-illumination geometries covered by TROPOMI's 2600 km wide swath needs to be taken into account. A first inter-sensor comparison with OCO-2 (Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2) SIF shows excellent agreement, underscoring the high quality of TROPOMI's SIF retrievals and the notable radiometric performance of the instrument. Plain Language Summary: Photosynthesis is the most essential process for life on Earth, but gradually changing environmental conditions such as increasing concentrations of atmospheric trace gases, rising temperatures or reduced water availability could adversely affect the photosynthetic productivity. The recently launched TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) is designed to monitor atmospheric trace gases and air pollutants with an unprecedented resolution in space and time, while its radiometric performance also permits us to see a weak electromagnetic signal emitted by photosynthetically active vegetation - solar induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF). Mounting evidence suggests that SIF observations from satellite instruments augment our abilities to track the photosynthetic performance and carbon uptake of terrestrial vegetation. In this study, we present the first TROPOMI SIF retrievals, largely outperforming previous and existing capabilities for a spatial continuous monitoring of SIF from space.

17.
Science ; 358(6360)2017 10 13.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29026011

RESUMEN

The 2015-2016 El Niño led to historically high temperatures and low precipitation over the tropics, while the growth rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) was the largest on record. Here we quantify the response of tropical net biosphere exchange, gross primary production, biomass burning, and respiration to these climate anomalies by assimilating column CO2, solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence, and carbon monoxide observations from multiple satellites. Relative to the 2011 La Niña, the pantropical biosphere released 2.5 ± 0.34 gigatons more carbon into the atmosphere in 2015, consisting of approximately even contributions from three tropical continents but dominated by diverse carbon exchange processes. The heterogeneity of the carbon-exchange processes indicated here challenges previous studies that suggested that a single dominant process determines carbon cycle interannual variability.

18.
New Phytol ; 215(4): 1594-1608, 2017 Sep.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28664542

RESUMEN

Recent advances in the retrieval of Chl fluorescence from space using passive methods (solar-induced Chl fluorescence, SIF) promise improved mapping of plant photosynthesis globally. However, unresolved issues related to the spatial, spectral, and temporal dynamics of vegetation fluorescence complicate our ability to interpret SIF measurements. We developed an instrument to measure leaf-level gas exchange simultaneously with pulse-amplitude modulation (PAM) and spectrally resolved fluorescence over the same field of view - allowing us to investigate the relationships between active and passive fluorescence with photosynthesis. Strongly correlated, slope-dependent relationships were observed between measured spectra across all wavelengths (Fλ , 670-850 nm) and PAM fluorescence parameters under a range of actinic light intensities (steady-state fluorescence yields, Ft ) and saturation pulses (maximal fluorescence yields, Fm ). Our results suggest that this method can accurately reproduce the full Chl emission spectra - capturing the spectral dynamics associated with changes in the yields of fluorescence, photochemical (ΦPSII), and nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ). We discuss how this method may establish a link between photosynthetic capacity and the mechanistic drivers of wavelength-specific fluorescence emission during changes in environmental conditions (light, temperature, humidity). Our emphasis is on future research directions linking spectral fluorescence to photosynthesis, ΦPSII, and NPQ.


Asunto(s)
Clorofila/análisis , Fotosíntesis , Tecnología de Sensores Remotos/métodos , Simulación por Computador , Fotosíntesis/efectos de la radiación , Hojas de la Planta/metabolismo , Hojas de la Planta/efectos de la radiación , Suelo/química , Espectrometría de Fluorescencia , Terminología como Asunto
19.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 114(21): 5367-5372, 2017 05 23.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28416668

RESUMEN

Methane is the second strongest anthropogenic greenhouse gas and its atmospheric burden has more than doubled since 1850. Methane concentrations stabilized in the early 2000s and began increasing again in 2007. Neither the stabilization nor the recent growth are well understood, as evidenced by multiple competing hypotheses in recent literature. Here we use a multispecies two-box model inversion to jointly constrain 36 y of methane sources and sinks, using ground-based measurements of methane, methyl chloroform, and the C13/C12 ratio in atmospheric methane (δ13CH4) from 1983 through 2015. We find that the problem, as currently formulated, is underdetermined and solutions obtained in previous work are strongly dependent on prior assumptions. Based on our analysis, the mathematically most likely explanation for the renewed growth in atmospheric methane, counterintuitively, involves a 25-Tg/y decrease in methane emissions from 2003 to 2016 that is offset by a 7% decrease in global mean hydroxyl (OH) concentrations, the primary sink for atmospheric methane, over the same period. However, we are still able to fit the observations if we assume that OH concentrations are time invariant (as much of the previous work has assumed) and we then find solutions that are largely consistent with other proposed hypotheses for the renewed growth of atmospheric methane since 2007. We conclude that the current surface observing system does not allow unambiguous attribution of the decadal trends in methane without robust constraints on OH variability, which currently rely purely on methyl chloroform data and its uncertain emissions estimates.

20.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 113(35): 9734-9, 2016 08 30.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27528660

RESUMEN

Methane (CH4) impacts climate as the second strongest anthropogenic greenhouse gas and air quality by influencing tropospheric ozone levels. Space-based observations have identified the Four Corners region in the Southwest United States as an area of large CH4 enhancements. We conducted an airborne campaign in Four Corners during April 2015 with the next-generation Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (near-infrared) and Hyperspectral Thermal Emission Spectrometer (thermal infrared) imaging spectrometers to better understand the source of methane by measuring methane plumes at 1- to 3-m spatial resolution. Our analysis detected more than 250 individual methane plumes from fossil fuel harvesting, processing, and distributing infrastructures, spanning an emission range from the detection limit [Formula: see text] 2 kg/h to 5 kg/h through [Formula: see text] 5,000 kg/h. Observed sources include gas processing facilities, storage tanks, pipeline leaks, and well pads, as well as a coal mine venting shaft. Overall, plume enhancements and inferred fluxes follow a lognormal distribution, with the top 10% emitters contributing 49 to 66% to the inferred total point source flux of 0.23 Tg/y to 0.39 Tg/y. With the observed confirmation of a lognormal emission distribution, this airborne observing strategy and its ability to locate previously unknown point sources in real time provides an efficient and effective method to identify and mitigate major emissions contributors over a wide geographic area. With improved instrumentation, this capability scales to spaceborne applications [Thompson DR, et al. (2016) Geophys Res Lett 43(12):6571-6578]. Further illustration of this potential is demonstrated with two detected, confirmed, and repaired pipeline leaks during the campaign.

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