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Image Gallery Methane

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Here we show some figures and animations illustrating our satellite-derived methane (CH4) data products. 

Figure 1 from Buchwitz, M., Schneising, O., Reuter, M., Heymann, J., Krautwurst, S., Bovensmann, H., Burrows, J. P., Boesch, H., Parker, R. J., Somkuti, P., Detmers, R. G., Hasekamp, O. P., Aben, I., Butz, A., Frankenberg, C., Turner, A. J., Satellite-derived methane hotspot emission estimates using a fast data-driven method, Amos. Chem. Phys., 17, 5751-5774, doi:10.5194/acp-17-5751-2017, 2017:




The above figures are fir year 2004. This is 2003-2005:


And here 2003-2011:







The figure below shows the column-averaged mixing ratio of methane in parts per billion (ppb). For example, 1730 ppb means that one billion air molecules contain 1730 methane molecules. The large map on the top left shows a multi-year average of the global methane distribution as retrieved from SCIAMACHY on ENVISAT. As can be seen, methane is somewhat higher over the northern hemisphere where most of the methane sources are located. These sources are, for example, wetlands, rice fields, gas and oil production, coal mining and ruminants (e.g., cattle and sheeps). Shown in red are major source regions such as China, India, Siberia and parts of the tropics. Methane varies strongly with the season as shown in the maps on the right. The bottom figure (red curve) shows that methane started rising at around 2007 after several years of stability. The reason for this is not yet fully understood. As can also be seen, the amount of methane varies significantly within each year, e.g., with the season. Please note that especially after 2005 (and in particular after mid 2010) the data quality suffers from proceeding degradation of the SCIAMACHY detectors (this is also the reason why data after 2011 are not shown here):


Methane distribution as retrieved from TANSO/GOSAT:

Methane "flying carpet" showing the atmospheric methane amounts as a function of time and latitude. The methane information has been retrieved from SCIAMACHY on ENVISAT using the WFM-DOAS retrieval algorithm developed at the University of Bremen, Germany. The data have been smoothed in time and space to highlight only the main features:


Methane from SCIAMACHY 2003-2004 and GOSAT 2010-2011, i.e., from the first two full years of the two satellite sensors. Note the change of the color scale: To consider the approx. 30 ppb higher methane concentrations during 2010-2011 compared to 2003-2004, the color scale has been shifted by 30 ppb for GOSAT compared to SCIAMACHY (click here for GERMAN version):

Here the first animation based on merged SCIAMACHY and GOSAT data (please click HERE for a high resolution version of the animated gif file; click here for GERMAN version):


Here a figure showing SCIAMACHY methane over major US fracking areas using a nightlight image from NASA as background image (details see: Schneising et al., 2014):