Articles | Volume 15, issue 21
Research article
30 Oct 2018
Research article |  | 30 Oct 2018

Limited impact of El Niño–Southern Oscillation on variability and growth rate of atmospheric methane

Hinrich Schaefer, Dan Smale, Sylvia E. Nichol, Tony M. Bromley, Gordon W. Brailsford, Ross J. Martin, Rowena Moss, Sylvia Englund Michel, and James W. C. White

Data sets

World Data Centre for Greenhouse Gases Japan Meteorological Agency

Institute for Environmental Physics, Data Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Short summary
To quantify the impact of El Nino–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate events on the methane budget, we studied the correlation between CH4 time series and ENSO indices. We find that ENSO explains less than one-third of the variability in CH4 levels and their stable carbon isotopes, which constrain the source processes of emissions. ENSO forcing of the CH4 cycle is too small, episodic, and regional to force atmospheric trends, which are more likely caused by agricultural or industrial emissions.
Final-revised paper