Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/15306
Authors: Thornton, Brett F.* 
Etiope, Giuseppe* 
Schwietzke, Stefan* 
Milkov, Alexei V.* 
Klusman, Ronald W* 
Judd, A* 
Oehler, Dorothy Z* 
Title: Conflicting estimates of natural geologic methane emissions
Journal: ELEMENTA-SCIENCE OF THE ANTHROPOCENE 
Series/Report no.: 1/9 (2021)
Publisher: University of California Press
Issue Date: 2021
DOI: 10.1525/elementa.2021.00031
Abstract: Global bottom-up and top-down estimates of natural, geologic methane (CH4) emissions (average approximately 45 Tg yr–1) have recently been questioned by near-zero (approximately 1.6 Tg yr–1) estimates based on measurements of 14CH4 trapped in ice cores, which imply that current fossil fuel industries’ CH4 emissions are underestimated by 25%–40%. As we show here, such a global near-zero geologic CH4 emission estimate is incompatible with multiple independent, bottom-up emission estimates from individual natural geologic seepage areas, each of which is of the order of 0.1–3 Tg yr–1. Further research is urgently needed to resolve the conundrum before rejecting either method or associated emission estimates in global CH4 accounting.
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