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Unexpected changes to the global methane budget over the past 2000 years


Ferretti, DF and Miller, JB and White, JWC and Etheridge, DM and Lassey, KR and Lowe, DC and MacFarling Meure, CM and Dreier, MF and Trudinger, CM and van Ommen, TD and Langenfelds, RL, Unexpected changes to the global methane budget over the past 2000 years, Science, 309, (5741) pp. 1714-1717. ISSN 0036-8075 (2005) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1126/science.1115193


We report a 2000-year Antarctic ice-core record of stable carbon isotope measurements in atmospheric methane (delta13CH4). Large delta13CH4 variations indicate that the methane budget varied unexpectedly during the late preindustrial Holocene (circa 0 to 1700 A.D.). During the first thousand years (0 to 1000 A.D.), delta13CH4 was at least 2 per mil enriched compared to expected values, and during the following 700 years, an about 2 per mil depletion occurred. Our modeled methane source partitioning implies that biomass burning emissions were high from 0 to 1000 A.D. but reduced by almost approximately 40% over the next 700 years. We suggest that both human activities and natural climate change influenced preindustrial biomass burning emissions and that these emissions have been previously understated in late preindustrial Holocene methane budget research.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Marine geoscience
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:van Ommen, TD (Dr Tas van Ommen)
ID Code:112096
Year Published:2005
Web of Science® Times Cited:200
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2016-10-26
Last Modified:2016-10-26

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