27 Jan 2022
27 Jan 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Global inventory of the stable isotopic composition of methane surface emissions, augmented by new measurements in Europe

Malika Menoud1, Carina van der Veen1, Dave Lowry2, Julianne M. Fernandez2, Semra Bakkaloglu2,a, James L. France2, Rebecca E. Fisher2, Hossein Maazallahi1,, Mila Stanisavljević3,, Jarosław Nęcki3,, Katarina Vinkovic4,, Patryk Łakomiec5,, Janne Rinne5,6,, Piotr Korbeń7,, Martina Schmidt7,, Sara Defratyka8,, Camille Yver-Kwok8,, Truls Andersen4,, Huilin Chen4,, and Thomas Röckmann1 Malika Menoud et al.
  • 1Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU), Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 2Greenhouse Gas Research Laboratory (GGRL), Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham TW20 0EX, United Kingdom
  • 3Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science, AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland
  • 4Centre for Isotope Research, Energy and Sustainability Institute Groningen (ESRIG), University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
  • 5Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Sweden
  • 6Natural Resources Institute Finland, Helsinki, Finland
  • 7Institute of Environmental Physics, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 8Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE-IPSL) CEA-CNRS-UVSQ Université Paris Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, 91191, France
  • anow at: Sustainable Gas Institute, Imperial College London, London SW7 1NA, United Kingdom
  • These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. Recent climate change mitigation strategies rely on the reduction of methane (CH4) emissions. δ13CCH4 and δ2HCH4 measurements can be used to distinguish sources and thus to understand the CH4 budget better. The CH4 emission estimates by models are sensitive to the isotopic signatures assigned to each source category, so it is important to provide representative estimates of the different CH4 source isotopic signatures worldwide.

We present new measurements of isotope signatures of various, mainly anthropogenic, CH4 sources in Europe, which represent a substantial contribution to the global dataset of source isotopic measurements from the literature, especially for δ2HCH4. They improve the definition of δ13CCH4 from waste sources, and demonstrate the use of δ2HCH4 for fossil fuel source attribution.

Results from previous studies were combined in a common database that we updated with our new measurements, as well as with additional literature. We found that microbial sources are generally well characterised. The large variability in fossil fuels isotopic compositions requires particular care in the choice of weighting criteria for the calculation of a representative global value. The global dataset could be further improved by measurements from African, South American and Asian countries, as well as more measurements from pyrogenic sources.

The final version of the European methane isotope database coupled with a global inventory of fossil and non-fossil δ13CCH4 and δ2HCH4 source signature measurements, is available at: (Menoud et al., 2021a). 

Malika Menoud et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2022-30', Anonymous Referee #1, 28 Feb 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Malika Menoud, 20 May 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2022-30', Anonymous Referee #2, 05 Apr 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Malika Menoud, 20 May 2022

Malika Menoud et al.

Data sets

The European methane isotope database coupled with a global inventory of fossil and non-fossil δ13C- and δ2H-CH4 source signature measurements Menoud, M., van der Veen, C., Lowry, D., Fernandez, J. M., Bakkaloglu, S., France, J. L., Fisher, R. E., Maazallahi, H., Stanisavljević, M., Nęcki, J., Vinkovic, K., Łakomiec, P., Rinne, J., Korbeń, P., Schmidt, M., Defratyka, S., Yver-Kwok, C., Andersen, T., Chen, H., Röckmann, T.

Malika Menoud et al.


Total article views: 525 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
370 139 16 525 8 12
  • HTML: 370
  • PDF: 139
  • XML: 16
  • Total: 525
  • BibTeX: 8
  • EndNote: 12
Views and downloads (calculated since 27 Jan 2022)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 27 Jan 2022)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 490 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 490 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 26 May 2022
Short summary
Emission sources of methane (CH4) can be distinguished with measurements of CH4 stable isotopes. We present new measurements of isotope signatures of various CH4 sources in Europe, mainly anthropogenic, sampled from 2017 to 2020. The present database also contains the most recent update of the global signature dataset from the literature. The dataset improves CH4 source attribution and the understanding of the global CH4 budget.