Estimates of North African Methane Emissions from 2010 to 2017 Using GOSAT Observations

Luke M Western*, Alice Ramsden, Anita L Ganesan, Hartmut Boesch, Robert J. Parker, Tia R. Scarpelli, Rachel L Tunnicliffe, Matthew L Rigby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
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Source characteristics of methane emissions in Africa are not well understood, despite methane’s role as the second largest anthropogenic contributor to climate change. Here, we present monthly methane emission estimates from Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia between 2010 and 2017, a region dominated by anthropogenic emissions. Emissions are estimated using observations from the GOSAT satellite and a Markov chain Monte Carlo inverse algorithm. Our top-down North African methane emissions are generally in line with inventory estimates and national reporting to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). An exception is that summertime emissions from the Nile Delta region are considerably higher than those predicted by inventory estimates, possibly due to agricultural practices and the influence of the Nile.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-632
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology Letters
Issue number8
Early online date6 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Eric Muala for supplying satellite estimated discharge data for Lake Nasser. We thank the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, National Institute for Environmental Studies, and the Ministry of Environment for the GOSAT data and their continuous support as part of the Joint Research Agreement. This research used the ALICE High Performance Computing Facility at the University of Leicester for the GOSAT retrievals. L.M.W., R.L.T., and M.R. were supported by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Grants NE/N016548/1 and NE/S016155/1. A.L.G. was supported by a NERC Independent Research Fellowship, NE/L010992/1, and A.E.R. was supported by a studentship from the NERC GW4+ Doctoral Training Partnership. R.J.P. and H.B. are funded via the UK National Centre for Earth Observation (NE/R016518/1 and NE/N018079/1) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service C3S.

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