Global annual methane emission rate derived from its current atmospheric mixing ratio and estimated lifetime
Abstract. We use the estimated lifetime of methane (CH4), the current methane concentration, and its annual growth rate to calculate the global methane emission rate. The upper and lower limits of the annual global methane emission rate, depending on loss of CH4 into the stratosphere and methane consuming bacteria, amounts to 648.0 Mt a−1 and 608.0 Mt a−1. These values are in reasonable agreement with satellite and with much more accurate in situ measurements of methane. We estimate a mean tropospheric and mass-weighted temperature related to the reaction rate and employ a mean OH-concentration to calculate a mean methane lifetime. The estimated atmospheric lifetime of methane amounts to 8.28 years and 8.84 years, respectively. In order to improve the analysis a realistic 3D-calculations should be performed.