17 Dec 2020

17 Dec 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

The consolidated European synthesis of CH4 and N2O emissions for EU27 and UK: 1990–2018

Ana Maria Roxana Petrescu1, Chunjing Qiu2, Philippe Ciais2, Rona L. Thompson3, Philippe Peylin2, Matthew J. McGrath2, Efisio Solazzo4, Greet Janssens-Maenhout4, Francesco N. Tubiello5, Peter Bergamaschi4, Dominik Brunner6, Glen P. Peters7, Lena Höglund-Isaksson8, Pierre Regnier9, Ronny Lauerwald9,23, David Bastviken10, Aki Tsuruta11, Wilfried Winiwarter8,12, Prabir K. Patra13, Matthias Kuhnert14, Gabriel D. Oreggioni4, Monica Crippa4, Marielle Saunois2, Lucia Perugini15, Tiina Markkanen11, Tuula Aalto11, Christine D. Groot Zwaaftink3, Yuanzhi Yao16, Chris Wilson17,18, Giulia Conchedda5, Dirk Günther19, Adrian Leip4, Pete Smith14, Jean-Matthieu Haussaire6, Antti Leppänen20, Alistair J. Manning21, Joe McNorton22, Patrick Brockmann2, and Han Dolman1 Ana Maria Roxana Petrescu et al.
  • 1Department of Earth Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1081HV, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • 2Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, 91190 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 3Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), Kjeller, Norway
  • 4European Commission, Joint Research Centre, 21027 Ispra (Va), Italy
  • 5Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Statistics Division. 00153 Rome, Italy
  • 6Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland
  • 7CICERO Center for International Climate Research, Oslo, Norway
  • 8International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), 2361 Laxenburg, Austria
  • 9Biogeochemistry and Modeling of the Earth System, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
  • 10Department of Thematic Studies - Environmental Change, Linköping University Sweden
  • 11Finnish Meteorological Institute, P. O. Box 503, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
  • 12Institute of Environmental Engineering, University of Zielona Góra, Zielona Góra, 65-417, Poland
  • 13Research Institute for Global Change, JAMSTEC, Yokohama 2360001, Japan
  • 14Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, 23 St Machar Drive, Aberdeen, AB24 3UU, UK
  • 15Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC), Viterbo, Italy
  • 16International Centre for Climate and Global Change, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, USA
  • 17Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  • 18National Centre for Earth Observation, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  • 19Umweltbundesamt (UBA), 14193 Berlin, Germany
  • 20University of Helsinki, Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research/Physics, Faculty of Science, 00560 Helsinki, Finland
  • 21Hadley Centre, Met Office, Exeter, EX1 3PB, UK
  • 22European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Reading, RG2 9AX, UK
  • 23Université Paris-Saclay, INRAE, AgroParisTech, UMR ECOSYS, Thiverval-Grignon, France

Abstract. Reliable quantification of the sources and sinks of greenhouse gases, together with trends and uncertainties, is essential to monitoring the progress in mitigating anthropogenic emissions under the Paris Agreement. This study provides a consolidated synthesis of CH4 and N2O emissions with consistently derived state-of-the-art bottom-up (BU) and top-down (TD) data sources for the European Union and UK (EU27+UK). We integrate recent emission inventory data, ecosystem process-based model results, and inverse modelling estimates over the period 1990–2018. BU and TD products are compared with European National GHG Inventories (NGHGI) reported to the UN climate convention secretariat UNFCCC in 2019. For uncertainties, we used for NGHGI the standard deviation obtained by varying parameters of inventory calculations, reported by the Member States following the IPCC guidelines recommendations. For atmospheric inversion models (TD) or other inventory datasets (BU), we defined uncertainties from the spread between different model estimates or model specific uncertainties when reported. In comparing NGHGI with other approaches, a key source of bias is the activities included, e.g. anthropogenic versus anthropogenic plus natural fluxes. In inversions, the separation between anthropogenic and natural emissions is sensitive to the geospatial prior distribution of emissions. Over the 2011–2015 period, which is the common denominator of data availability between all sources, the anthropogenic BU approaches are directly comparable, reporting mean emissions of 20.8 Tg CH4 yr−1 (EDGAR v5.0) and 19.0 Tg CH4 yr−1 (GAINS), consistent with the NGHGI estimates of 18.9 ± 1.7 Tg CH4 yr−1. TD total inversions estimates give higher emission estimates, as they also include natural emissions. Over the same period regional TD inversions with higher resolution atmospheric transport models give a mean emission of 28.8 Tg CH4 yr−1. Coarser resolution global TD inversions are consistent with regional TD inversions, for global inversions with GOSAT satellite data (23.3 Tg CH4yr−1) and surface network (24.4 Tg CH4 yr−1). The magnitude of natural peatland emissions from the JSBACH-HIMMELI model, natural rivers and lakes emissions and geological sources together account for the gap between NGHGI and inversions and account for 5.2 Tg CH4 yr−1. For N2O emissions, over the 2011–2015 period, both BU approaches (EDGAR v5.0 and GAINS) give a mean value of anthropogenic emissions of 0.8 and 0.9 Tg N2O yr−1 respectively, agreeing with the NGHGI data (0.9 ± 0.6 Tg N2O yr−1). Over the same period, the average of the three total TD global and regional inversions was 1.3 ± 0.4 and 1.3 ± 0.1 Tg N2O yr−1 respectively, compared to 0.9 Tg N2O yr−1 from the BU data. The TU and BU comparison method defined in this study can be operationalized for future yearly updates for the calculation of CH4 and N2O budgets both at EU+UK scale and at national scale. The referenced datasets related to figures are visualized at (Petrescu et al., 2020).

Ana Maria Roxana Petrescu et al.

Status: open (until 18 Feb 2021)
Status: open (until 18 Feb 2021)
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Ana Maria Roxana Petrescu et al.

Data sets

The consolidated European synthesis of CH4 and N2O emissions for EU27 and UK: 1990-2018 Petrescu, A. M. R., Qiu, C., Ciais, P., Thompson, R. L., Peylin, P., McGrath, M. J., Solazzo, E., Janssens-Maenhout, G., Tubiello, F. N., Bergamaschi, P., Brunner, D., Peters, G. P., Höglund-Isaksson, L., Regnier, P., Lauerwald, R., Bastviken, D., Tsuruta, A., Winiwarter, W., Patra, P. K., Kuhnert, M., Orregioni, G. D., Crippa, M., Saunois, M., Perugini, L., Markkanen, T., Aalto, T., Groot Zwaaftink, C. D., Yao, Y., Wilson, C., Conchedda, G., Günther, D., Leip, A., Smith, P., Haussaire, J.-M., Leppänen, A., Manning, A. J., McNorton, J., Brockmann, P., and Dolman, A. J.

Ana Maria Roxana Petrescu et al.


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Short summary
This study is topical and provides a state-of-the-art scientific overview of data availability from bottom-up and top-down CH4 and N2O emissions in the EU27 and UK. The data integrates recent emission inventories with process-based model data and regional/global inversions for the European domain, aiming at reconciling them with official country-level UNFCCC national GHG inventories in support to policy and to facilitate real-time verification procedures.