Methane (CH4) is a potent greenhouse gas with a large temporal variability. To increase the spatial coverage, methane observations are increasingly made from satellites that retrieve the column-averaged dry air mole fraction of methane (XCH4). To understand and quantify the spatial differences of the seasonal cycle and trend of XCH4 in more detail, and to ultimately help reduce uncertainties in methane emissions and sinks, we evaluated and analyzed the average XCH4 seasonal cycle and trend from three Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) retrieval algorithms: National Institute for Environmental Studies algorithm version 02.75, RemoTeC CH4 Proxy algorithm version 2.3.8 and RemoTeC CH4 Full Physics algorithm version 2.3.8. Evaluations were made against the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) retrievals at 15 TCCON sites for 2009-2015, and the analysis was performed, in addition to the TCCON sites, at 31 latitude bands between latitudes 44.43°S and 53.13°N. At latitude bands, we also compared the trend of GOSAT XCH4 retrievals to the NOAA's Marine Boundary Layer reference data. The average seasonal cycle and the non-linear trend were, for the first time for methane, modeled with a dynamic regression method called Dynamic Linear Model that quantifies the trend and the seasonal cycle, and provides reliable uncertainties for the parameters. Our results show that, if the number of co-located soundings is sufficiently large throughout the year, the seasonal cycle and trend of the three GOSAT retrievals agree well, mostly within the uncertainty ranges, with the TCCON retrievals. Especially estimates of the maximum day of XCH4 agree well, both between the GOSAT and TCCON retrievals, and between the three GOSAT retrievals at the latitude bands. In our analysis, we showed that there are large spatial differences in the trend and seasonal cycle of XCH4. These differences are linked to the regional CH4 sources and sinks, and call for further research.
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Kivimaki, E., Lindqvist, H., Hakkarainen, J., Laine, M., Sussmann, R., Tsuruta, A., Detmers, R., Deutscher, N. M., Dlugokencky, E. J., Hase, F., Hasekamp, O., Kivi, R., Morino, I., Notholt, J., Pollard, D. F., Roehl, C. M., Schneider, M., Sha, M., Velazco, V. A., Warneke, T., Wunch, D., Yoshida, Y., & Tamminen, J. (2019). Evaluation and Analysis of the Seasonal Cycle and Variability of the Trend from GOSAT Methane Retrievals. Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health - Papers: Part B. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11070882. Retrieved from https://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers1/643