In a new paper in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, we present a new method for predicting atmospheric methane concentrations along any socioeconomic emission scenario. We use a simple and fast modeling approach that accounts for chemistry-climate interactions, including their uncertainties. Since rising greenhouse gas abundances are the main cause of recent climate change and methane is one of the most important greenhouse gases, these results will impact the predicted climate evolution in the 21st century.
Projected future atmospheric methane abundance (left) and lifetime in the atmosphere (right) in the RCP 8.5 socioeconomic climate and emission scenario. Projected uncertainty (shaded) accounts for uncertainty in the present-day budget, emissions, and chemistry-climate effects. We compare our projections to the MAGICC model and the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR) model, which do not include uncertainties.
For more information:
Holmes, C. D., M. J. Prather, O. A. Søvde, and G. Myhre (2013) Future methane, hydroxyl, and their uncertainties: key climate and emission parameters for future predictions, Atmos. Chem. Phys. 13, 285-302, doi:10.5194/acp-13-285-2013.
Prather, M. J., C. D. Holmes, and J. Hsu (2012) Reactive greenhouse gas scenarios: Systematic exploration of uncertainties and the role of atmospheric chemistry. Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2012GL051440.