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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2015, Article ID 125059, 11 pages
Research Article

Preliminary Assessment of Methane Concentration Variation Observed by GOSAT in China

1Key Laboratory of Digital Earth Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100094, China
2Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin 999077, Hong Kong
3Nagoya University, Nagoya 890-0065, Japan
4Kagoshima University, Kagoshima 464-8601, Japan

Received 16 February 2015; Accepted 18 May 2015

Academic Editor: Xiaozhen Xiong

Copyright © 2015 Xiuchun Qin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Atmospheric column-averaged methane (XCH4) observations from GOSAT are analyzed to study the spatiotemporal variation of XCH4 in China. Furthermore, we investigate the driving mechanism of XCH4 spatiotemporal variations, especially for high XCH4 values shown over Sichuan Basin, by analyzing both the emission mechanism of rice planting process and the regional atmosphere dynamic transportation. The results indicate that spatially the Sichuan Basin presents a higher XCH4 concentration than other regions in China and is 17 ppb higher than the paddy area in the same latitude zone. Seasonally, XCH4 in Sichuan Basin during rice harvest season is generally higher than that in early cultivation period. However, comparing to paddy area in the same latitude zone, Sichuan Basin shows a relatively higher XCH4 value during the winter of noncultivation period when the emissions from rice paddies are weak and surface air temperature is low. To further investigate the high XCH4 concentration during this low-emission period, we use the HYSPLIT model to simulate the atmosphere dynamic transport process, and the result suggests that the typical closed topography of Sichuan Basin, which may lead to CH4 accumulation and keep it from diffusion, is one possible reason for the high XCH4 value in winter.