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Arctic methane sources: Isotopic evidence for atmospheric inputs
Fisher, R.E.; Sriskantharajah, S.; Lowry, D.; Lanoisellé, M.; Fowler, C.M.R.; James, R.H.; Hermansen, O.; Lund Myhre, C.; Stohl, A.; Greinert, J.; Nisbet-Jones, P.B.R.; Mienert, J.; Nisbet, E.G. (2011). Arctic methane sources: Isotopic evidence for atmospheric inputs. Geophys. Res. Lett. 38.
In: Geophysical Research Letters. American Geophysical Union: Washington. ISSN 0094-8276, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Fisher, R.E.
  • Sriskantharajah, S.
  • Lowry, D.
  • Lanoisellé, M.
  • Fowler, C.M.R.
  • James, R.H.
  • Hermansen, O.
  • Lund Myhre, C.
  • Stohl, A.
  • Greinert, J., more
  • Nisbet-Jones, P.B.R.
  • Mienert, J.
  • Nisbet, E.G.

    By comparison of the methane mixing ratio and the carbon isotope ratio (delta C-13(CH4)) in Arctic air with regional background, the incremental input of CH4 in an air parcel and the source delta C-13(CH4) signature can be determined. Using this technique the bulk Arctic CH4 source signature of air arriving at Spitsbergen in late summer 2008 and 2009 was found to be -68 parts per thousand, indicative of the dominance of a biogenic CH4 source. This is close to the source signature of CH4 emissions from boreal wetlands. In spring, when wetland was frozen, the CH4 source signature was more enriched in C-13 at -53 +/- 6 parts per thousand with air mass back trajectories indicating a large influence from gas field emissions in the Ob River region. Emissions of CH4 to the water column from the seabed on the Spitsbergen continental slope are occurring but none has yet been detected reaching the atmosphere. The measurements illustrate the significance of wetland emissions. Potentially, these may respond quickly and powerfully to meteorological variations and to sustained climate warming. Citation: Fisher, R. E., et al. (2011), Arctic methane sources: Isotopic evidence for atmospheric inputs, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L21803, doi:10.1029/2011GL049319.

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