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Reactive halogens increase the global methane lifetime and radiative forcing in the 21st century

Li, Qinyi and Fernandez, Rafael P. and Hossaini, Ryan and Iglesias-Suarez, Fernando and Cuevas, Carlos A. and Apel, Eric C. and Kinnison, Doug E. and Lamarque, Jean-F. and Saiz-Lopez, Alfonso (2022) Reactive halogens increase the global methane lifetime and radiative forcing in the 21st century. Nature Communications, 13 (1), pp. 1-10. Nature Publishing Group. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-30456-8. ISSN 2041-1723.

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Official URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-30456-8

Abstract

CH4 is the most abundant reactive greenhouse gas and a complete understanding of its atmospheric fate is needed to formulate mitigation policies. Current chemistry-climate models tend to underestimate the lifetime of CH4, suggesting uncertainties in its sources and sinks. Reactive halogens substantially perturb the budget of tropospheric OH, the main CH4 loss. However, such an effect of atmospheric halogens is not considered in existing climate projections of CH4 burden and radiative forcing. Here, we demonstrate that reactive halogen chemistry increases the global CH4 lifetime by 6–9% during the 21st century. This effect arises from significant halogen-mediated decrease, mainly by iodine and bromine, in OH-driven CH4 loss that surpasses the direct Cl-induced CH4 sink. This increase in CH4 lifetime helps to reduce the gap between models and observations and results in a greater burden and radiative forcing during this century. The increase in CH4 burden due to halogens (up to 700 Tg or 8% by 2100) is equivalent to the observed atmospheric CH4 growth during the last three to four decades. Notably, the halogen-driven enhancement in CH4 radiative forcing is 0.05 W/m2 at present and is projected to increase in the future (0.06 W/m2 by 2100); such enhancement equals ~10% of present-day CH4 radiative forcing and one-third of N2O radiative forcing, the third-largest well-mixed greenhouse gas. Both direct (Cl-driven) and indirect (via OH) impacts of halogens should be included in future CH4 projections.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/194159/
Document Type:Article
Title:Reactive halogens increase the global methane lifetime and radiative forcing in the 21st century
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Li, QinyiCSIC, Madrid 28006, Spainhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5146-5831UNSPECIFIED
Fernandez, Rafael P.CSIC, Madrid, SpanienUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hossaini, RyanUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2395-6657UNSPECIFIED
Iglesias-Suarez, FernandoDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3403-8245UNSPECIFIED
Cuevas, Carlos A.CSIC, Madrid, SpanienUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Apel, Eric C.NCAR, Boulder, CO, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Kinnison, Doug E.NCAR, Boulder, CO, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lamarque, Jean-F.NCAR, Boulder, Colorado, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Saiz-Lopez, AlfonsoCSIC, Madrid 28006, SpainUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:19 May 2022
Journal or Publication Title:Nature Communications
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:13
DOI:10.1038/s41467-022-30456-8
Page Range:pp. 1-10
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-1723
Status:Published
Keywords:halogens; climate change; Earth System Models; methane;
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Atmospheric and climate research
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Earth System Model Evaluation and Analysis
Deposited By: Iglesias-Suarez, Dr. Fernando
Deposited On:06 Mar 2023 07:19
Last Modified:07 Mar 2023 11:55

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