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The UK methane emissions inventory: A scoping study on the use of ambient measurements to reduce uncertainties.

Bellingham, J R; Milton, M J T; Woods, P T; Passant, N R*; Poll, A J*; Couling, S*; Marlowe, I T*; Woodfield, M*; Garland, J*; Lee, D S* (1994) The UK methane emissions inventory: A scoping study on the use of ambient measurements to reduce uncertainties. NPL Report. DQM 98

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We present a critical review of the UK methane emissions inventory, identifying new data that has allowed us to calculate revised estimates for some sources. We have also undettaken a detailed and explicit analysis ()f the uncettainties associated with each parameter, allowing us to identify thoseareas which are most in need of improvement.
Our best estimate for total UK emissions is 5.0 Mt/a with upper and lower bounds of 7.2 and 3.6 Mt/a. The greatest uncertainty in this estimate relates to emissions from landfill sites. We have estimated landfill emissions in such a way that the sources of uncertainty are highlighted and quantified. Our best estimate for these emissions is 1.9 Mt/a, with upper and lower bounds of 4.2 and 0.6 Mt/a. This new result is comparable to existing estimates in both magnitude and uncertainty.
We believe that the uncenainty in the estimate of landfill emissions could be reduced significantly over the next few years. An initial focussed programme of direct emission measurements on major sites should provide a reduction of around 25%. This programme would be concentrated on large sites of modern design which will be responsible for an increasing proportion of future landfill emissions. Hence, this programme together with other activities in the field, will lead to a better understanding of the remaining uncertainties and so lead to further improvements in the total uncertainty. Similar programmes could reduce the uncertainty in the estimated emissions from other sectors, but their impact on the UK total would be significantly less.
We have identified five activities or processes as anthropogenic sources not at present included in the emissions estimates. We have proposed a modest programme to evaluate these emissions, though their effect on the total UK methane inventory is likely to be small.
Consideration has also been given to the use of ambient measurements to verify emissions estimates on a regional or national scale. Such techniques would provide added confidence in the completeness and accuracy of the inventory, but are essentially untested at present.

Item Type: Report/Guide (NPL Report)
NPL Report No.: DQM 98
Subjects: Environmental Measurement
Environmental Measurement > Atmospheric Science, Emission and Security
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 13:19
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/1113

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