The carbon isotopic composition of atmospheric methane and its sources and trends; distribution of source fluxes and their contribution to the increasing concentration

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The goal of isotopic studies of atmospheric methane is the determination of the relative fluxes of the various sources of different isotopic composition. Because of the large number of generic anthropogenic source types it is not possible to determine their relative strengths based on carbon-13 data alone. However, by combining sources of similar isotopic composition (as well as similar origin), and utilizing results from other studies it is possible to calculate some important features of the atmospheric CH{sub 4} cycle. The {sup 13}C/{sup 12}C ratio of atmospheric CH{sub 4} is increasing in both the southern and northern hemisphere with a ... continued below

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Stevens, C.M. January 1, 1991.

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The goal of isotopic studies of atmospheric methane is the determination of the relative fluxes of the various sources of different isotopic composition. Because of the large number of generic anthropogenic source types it is not possible to determine their relative strengths based on carbon-13 data alone. However, by combining sources of similar isotopic composition (as well as similar origin), and utilizing results from other studies it is possible to calculate some important features of the atmospheric CH{sub 4} cycle. The {sup 13}C/{sup 12}C ratio of atmospheric CH{sub 4} is increasing in both the southern and northern hemisphere with a faster rate in the former. Analysis of these results shows that the increasing fluxes of CH{sub 4} from biomass burning in the southern hemisphere contribute about 60% of the rate of increasing concentration. In the past decade the trend in the northern hemisphere can be interpreted as caused by both increasing and decreasing fluxes from the natural wetlands sources. 26 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs.

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Pages: (23 p)

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OSTI; NTIS; GPO Dep.

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  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) advanced research workshop, Mount Hood, OR (United States), 6-11 Oct 1991

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  • Other: DE92000268
  • Report No.: ANL/CP-74364
  • Report No.: CONF-9110220--1
  • Grant Number: W-31109-ENG-38
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 5164998
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1054229

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  • January 1, 1991

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  • Jan. 22, 2018, 7:23 a.m.

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  • Jan. 30, 2018, 1:07 p.m.

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Stevens, C.M. The carbon isotopic composition of atmospheric methane and its sources and trends; distribution of source fluxes and their contribution to the increasing concentration, article, January 1, 1991; Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1054229/: accessed September 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.