Trend of lower stratospheric methane (CH4) from atmospheric chemistry experiment (ACE) and atmospheric trace molecule spectroscopy (ATMOS) measurements

Curtis P. Rinsland, Linda Chiou, Chris Boone, Peter Bernath, Emmanuel Mahieu, Rodolphe Zander

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The long-term trend of methane (CH4) in the lower stratosphere has been estimated for the 1985-2008 time period by combining spaceborne solar occultation measurements recorded with high spectral resolution Fourier transform spectrometers (FTSs). Volume mixing ratio (VMR) FTS measurements from the ATMOS (atmospheric trace molecule spectroscopy) FTS covering 120-10 hPa (similar to 16-30 km altitude) at 25 degrees N-35 degrees N latitude from 1985 and 1994 have been combined with Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) SCISAT-1 FTS measurements covering the same latitude and pressure range from 2004 to 2008. The CH4 trend was estimated by referencing the VMRs to those measured for the long-lived constituent N2O to account for the dynamic history of the sampled airmasses. The combined measurement set shows that the VMR increase measured by ATMOS has been replaced by a leveling off during the ACE measurement time period. Our conclusion is consistent with both remote sensing and in situ measurements of the CH4 trend obtained over the same time span. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1066-1071
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009


  • Methane
  • Remote sensing
  • Atmospheric chemistry
  • Composition
  • Trends

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