What controls the atmospheric methane seasonal variability over India?

Tania Guha, Yogesh K. Tiwari, Vinu Valsala, Xin Lin, Michel Ramonet, Anoop Mahajan, Amey Datye, K. Ravi Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Atmospheric CH4 observations from two ground-based stations within Indian subcontinent, namely, Sinhagad (SNG) and Cape Rama station (CRI) showed a strong seasonality with a minima (∼1800 ± 20 ppb) during southwest monsoon (SWM; i.e. June–September, JJAS) and a maxima (2000 ± 30 ppb) during northeast monsoon (NEM i.e. December–February, DJF) with a peak-to-peak seasonality close to 200 ppb. The Indian summer (winter) monsoon is characterized with strong southwesterly (northeasterly) winds of oceanic origin at the surface level and strong easterly (westerly) jet streams aloft. The monsoon dynamics has pronounced impact on CH4 variability over India and is analyzed with winds, Lagrangian trajectories, and 3-dimentional distributions of CH4 simulated by a general circulation model. The model simulations suggest a consistent annual vertical structure (mean and sub-seasonal uncertainty) of CH4 over India with a stark contrast in concentration from summer to winter at surface levels (below 750 mb) in confirmation with what is identified by the ground-based observations. During SWM (NEM) the air with comparatively lower (higher) CH4 concentrations from southern (northern) hemisphere reduces the CH4 over India by 1814 ± 26 ppb (enhances by 1950 ± 51 ppb). The contribution of local fluxes to this seasonality appears to be albeit weak as the synthesized CH4 fluxes (from EDGAR dataset) of the Indian peninsula itself show a peak in summer and a dip in winter. Similar property of CH4 is also common to nearby oceanic region (i.e. over Arabian Sea, 1765 ± 10 ppb during summer) suggesting the role of monsoon dynamics as the controlling factor. Further the mixing and convection carries the CH4 to the upper atmosphere and advect inward or outward aloft according the seasonal monsoon dynamics.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalAtmospheric Environment
StatePublished - Nov 28 2017

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to express thanks to CARIBIC project for providing upper troposphere methane data in Frankfurt to Chennai flight. We express our gratitude to Carl A. M. Brenninkmeijer and Armin Rauthe-Schoch from Max Planck Institute for Mainz Germany, for their helpful comments and discussion. We would like to thank Ray Langenfeld and Marcel Vanderschot from CSIRO Australia for sharing Cape Rama data. We are thankful to the Ministry of Earth Sciences Govt. of India for supporting research through Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology Pune India.


Dive into the research topics of 'What controls the atmospheric methane seasonal variability over India?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this