A New Divergence Method to Quantify Methane Emissions Using Observations of Sentinel-5P TROPOMI

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We present a new divergence method to estimated methane (CH4) emissions from satellite observed mean mixing ratio of methane (XCH4) by deriving the regional enhancement of XCH4 in the Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL). The applicability is proven by comparing the estimated emissions with its known emission inventory from a 3-month GEOS-Chem simulation. When applied to TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument observations, sources from well-known oil/gas production areas, livestock farms and wetlands in Texas become clearly visible in the emission maps. The calculated yearly averaged total CH4 emission over the Permian Basin is 3.06 (2.82, 3.78) Tg a−1 for 2019, which is consistent with previous studies and double that of EDGAR v4.3.2 for 2012. Sensitivity tests on PBL heights, on the derived regional background and on wind speeds suggest our divergence method is quite robust. It is also a fast and simple method to estimate the CH4 emissions globally.