Special Issue "Atmospheric Methane"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Robert W. Talbot

Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Science & Research Bldg. 1, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sources of anthropogenic atmospheric methane; autonomous drone system for detecting fugitive methane leaks; controls on ozone in Southern Texas; Impact of Saharan dust on air quality along the U.S. Gulf Coast; sources and cycling of atmospheric mercury; green sustainable urban areas; Houston port activities impact on local air quality

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Atmospheric methane (CH4) is an important and potent greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere. We are interested in all aspects of regional and global natural and anthropogenic CH4 sources, budgets, and cycling. There has been recent concern over fugitive emissions from gas and oil production process as an important source of CH4. This issue requires more intensive field measurements and assessments.  A recent paper using δ13C in CH4 suggested that global agriculture outside of the Arctic is the dominant contemporary source. This also needs further assessment. Global change in the Arctic is progressing at a rapid pace, and there are many questions regarding its influence on CH4 release and storage from ecosystems and the ocean. Papers are requested in these areas and other ones to help unravel the global CH4 budget with increased understanding and accuracy.

Prof. Dr. Robert W. Talbot
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Atmospheric methane

  • Global budget

  • Source emissions

  • Anthropogenic sources

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Cryogenic Displacement and Accumulation of Biogenic Methane in Frozen Soils
Atmosphere 2017, 8(6), 105; doi:10.3390/atmos8060105
Received: 28 March 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 9 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
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Abstract
Evidences of highly localized methane fluxes are reported from the Arctic shelf, hot spots of methane emissions in thermokarst lakes, and are believed to evolve to features like Yamal crater on land. The origin of large methane outbursts is problematic. Here we show,
[...] Read more.
Evidences of highly localized methane fluxes are reported from the Arctic shelf, hot spots of methane emissions in thermokarst lakes, and are believed to evolve to features like Yamal crater on land. The origin of large methane outbursts is problematic. Here we show, that the biogenic methane (13C ≤ −71‰) which formed before and during soil freezing is presently held in the permafrost. Field and experimental observations show that methane tends to accumulate at the permafrost table or in the coarse-grained lithological pockets surrounded by the sediments less-permeable for gas. Our field observations, radiocarbon dating, laboratory tests and theory all suggest that depending on the soil structure and freezing dynamics, this methane may have been displaced downwards tens of meters during freezing and has accumulated in the lithological pockets. The initial flux of methane from the one pocket disclosed by drilling was at a rate of more than 2.5 kg C(CH4) m−2 h−1. The age of the methane was 8–18 thousand years younger than the age of the sediments, suggesting that it was displaced tens of meters during freezing. The theoretical background provided the insight on the cryogenic displacement of methane in support of the field and experimental data. Upon freezing of sediments, methane follows water migration and either dissipates in the freezing soils or concentrates at certain places controlled by the freezing rate, initial methane distribution and soil structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Methane)
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Other

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Open AccessCase Report Enteric Methane Emissions Estimate for Livestock in South Africa for 1990–2014
Atmosphere 2017, 8(5), 69; doi:10.3390/atmos8050069
Received: 12 January 2017 / Revised: 23 March 2017 / Accepted: 28 March 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
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Abstract
Methane (CH4) from enteric fermentation is one of the main anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in South Africa. Livestock population data from 1990 to 2014 and emission factors were utilized in estimating CH4 emissions as per the 2006 IPCC (Intergovernmental
[...] Read more.
Methane (CH4) from enteric fermentation is one of the main anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in South Africa. Livestock population data from 1990 to 2014 and emission factors were utilized in estimating CH4 emissions as per the 2006 IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) guidelines. CH4 emissions originating from country-specific emission factors were compared with those calculated using IPCC default emission factors. Trends in emissions were then determined using the Man-Kendall trend test at the 5% significance level. The results showed annual total enteric CH4 emissions exceeding 1171.56 Gg (in 1995) with an average (1990 to 2014) of 1227.96 Gg. Non-dairy cattle are the highest emitters with an average of 873.07 Gg (71.10%) while sheep are the second highest with 227.61 Gg (18.54%). Other contributors are dairy cattle, goats, horses, pigs and donkeys with an average (percentage contribution) of 85.94 Gg (7.00%), 32.06 Gg (2.61%), 4.86 Gg (0.40%), 2.77 Gg (0.23%) and 1.65 Gg (0.13%), respectively. The trend analysis revealed positive trends for all the livestock categories, except sheep and goats which showed negative trends, consequently balancing out. The results obtained for the year 2014 were 37% higher than the enteric CH4 emissions in 1990, 1994 and 2000 inventories and the emissions estimated entirely from IPCC default emission factors. This demonstrates the need for the development of Tier 2 emission factors for key category sectors such as cattle and sheep in South Africa. To fully adhere to the principles of GHG inventory accounting, there has to be total livestock inclusivity and major improvements in activity data collection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Methane)
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