A Multiplatform Inversion Estimation of Statewide and Regional Methane Emissions in California during 2014-2016

Yu Yan Cui, Abhilash Vijayan, Matthias Falk, Ying Kuang Hsu, Dazhong Yin, Xue Meng Chen, Zhan Zhao, Jeremy Avise, Yanju Chen, Kristal Verhulst, Riley Duren, Vineet Yadav, Charles Miller, Ray Weiss, Ralph Keeling, Jooil Kim, Laura T. Iraci, Tomoaki Tanaka, Matthew S. Johnson, Eric A. KortLaura Bianco, Marc L. Fischer, Kenneth Stroud, Jorn Herner, Bart Croes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


California methane (CH4) emissions are quantified for three years from two tower networks and one aircraft campaign. We used backward trajectory simulations and a mesoscale Bayesian inverse model, initialized by three inventories, to achieve the emission quantification. Results show total statewide CH4 emissions of 2.05 ± 0.26 (at 95% confidence) Tg/yr, which is 1.14 to 1.47 times greater than the anthropogenic emission estimates by California Air Resource Board (CARB). Some of differences could be biogenic emissions, superemitter point sources, and other episodic emissions which may not be completely included in the CARB inventory. San Joaquin Valley (SJV) has the largest CH4 emissions (0.94 ± 0.18 Tg/yr), followed by the South Coast Air Basin, the Sacramento Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area at 0.39 ± 0.18, 0.21 ± 0.04, and 0.16 ± 0.05 Tg/yr, respectively. The dairy and oil/gas production sources in the SJV contribute 0.44 ± 0.36 and 0.22 ± 0.23 Tg CH4/yr, respectively. This study has important policy implications for regulatory programs, as it provides a thorough multiyear evaluation of the emissions inventory using independent atmospheric measurements and investigates the utility of a complementary multiplatform approach in understanding the spatial and temporal patterns of CH4 emissions in the state and identifies opportunities for the expansion and applications of the monitoring network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9636-9645
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 20 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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