The indirect global warming potential and global temperature change potential due to methane oxidation
Boucher, O., Friedlingstein, P., Collins, B. and Shine, K. (2009) The indirect global warming potential and global temperature change potential due to methane oxidation. Environmental Research Letters, 4 (4). 044007. ISSN 1748-9326
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/4/4/044007
Methane is the second most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas in the atmosphere next to carbon dioxide. Its global warming potential (GWP) for a time horizon of 100 years is 25, which makes it an attractive target for climate mitigation policies. Although the methane GWP traditionally includes the methane indirect effects on the concentrations of ozone and stratospheric water vapour, it does not take into account the production of carbon dioxide from methane oxidation. We argue here that this CO2-induced effect should be included for fossil sources of methane, which results in slightly larger GWP values for all time horizons. If the global temperature change potential is used as an alternative climate metric, then the impact of the CO2-induced effect is proportionally much larger. We also discuss what the correction term should be for methane from anthropogenic biogenic sources.