Inaugural global methane budget published in ESSD

12 December 2016

Earth System Science Data, the highly rated open-access journal of Copernicus Publications, announces the publication of the inaugural global methane budget. Produced by Dr Marielle Saunois of LSCE-IPSL France in coordination with the Global Carbon Project and more than 80 co-authors representing land, ocean, and atmospheric expertise from research institutions around the world, this budget quantifies for the first time the ensemble of the many sources and processes that determine global methane concentrations in the atmosphere.

The data gathered for this first release of the global methane budget are available online (CDIAC, DOI:10.3334/CDIAC/GLOBAL_METHANE_BUDGET_2016_V1.1). These data have stimulated new activities in wetland modelling and intensive analysis of changes in global and regional methane emissions that will emerge in research publications over the next several months.

A parallel commentary, published today as an editorial in Environmental Research Letters, highlights the challenging issue of understanding the methane budget and the opportunities offered by methane emission mitigation in a changing climate.

Motivated by the clear advantages of data sharing via data publication, this periodic global methane budget, a related annual global carbon budget, along with a growing array of open-access ESSD data sets on global surface air temperatures, global precipitation, global CO2 in the ocean surface, etc., stimulate and support a vibrant global research community and lay the basis for future open trusted indicators of the earth system as part of a global stocktaking.