Assessing urban methane emissions using column-observing portable Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometers and a novel Bayesian inversion framework.

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From: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics(Vol. 21, Issue 17)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 374 words

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Abstract :

Cities represent a large and concentrated portion of global greenhouse gas emissions, including methane. Quantifying methane emissions from urban areas is difficult, and inventories made using bottom-up accounting methods often differ greatly from top-down estimates generated from atmospheric observations. Emissions from leaks in natural gas infrastructure are difficult to predict and are therefore poorly constrained in bottom-up inventories. Natural gas infrastructure leaks and emissions from end uses can be spread throughout the city, and this diffuse source can represent a significant fraction of a city's total emissions. We investigated diffuse methane emissions of the city of Indianapolis, USA, during a field campaign in May 2016. A network of five portable solar-tracking Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometers was deployed throughout the city. These instruments measure the mole fraction of methane in a total column of air, giving them sensitivity to larger areas of the city than in situ sensors at the surface. We present an innovative inversion method to link these total column concentrations to surface fluxes. This method combines a Lagrangian transport model with a Bayesian inversion framework to estimate surface emissions and their uncertainties, together with determining the concentrations of methane in the air flowing into the city. Variations exceeding 10 ppb were observed in the inflowing air on a typical day, which is somewhat larger than the enhancements due to urban emissions (

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A674494181