Global distribution of methane emissions, emission trends, and OH concentrations and trends inferred from an inversion of GOSAT satellite data for 2010–2015

We use 2010–2015 observations of atmospheric methane columns from the GOSAT satellite instrument in a global inverse analysis to improve estimates of methane emissions and their trends over the period, as well as the global concentration of tropospheric OH (the hydroxyl radical, methane's main sink) and its trend. Our inversion solves the Bayesian optimization problem analytically including closed-form characterization of errors. This allows us to (1) quantify the information content from the inversion towards optimizing methane emissions and its trends, (2) diagnose error correlations between constraints on emissions and OH concentrations, and (3) generate a large ensemble of solutions testing different assumptions in the inversion.

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