A gridded inventory of Canada's anthropogenic methane emissions


T.R. Scarpelli, D.J. Jacob, M. Moran, F. Reuland, and D. Gordon. 1/1/2021. “A gridded inventory of Canada's anthropogenic methane emissions.” Environmental Research Letters.


Canada's anthropogenic methane emissions are reported annually to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) through Canada's National Inventory Report (NIR). Evaluation of these emissions using observations of atmospheric methane requires prior information on emission locations but that information is lacking in the NIR. Here we spatially allocate the NIR methane emissions for 2018 on a 0.1º x 0.1º grid (≈ 10 km x 10 km) for individual source sectors and subsectors, with further resolution by source type for the oil/gas sector, using an ensemble of national and provincial geospatial datasets and including facility-level information from Canada's Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. The highest emissions are from oil/gas production and livestock in western Canada, and landfills in eastern Canada. We find 11 hotspots emitting more than 1 metric ton h-1 on the 0.1º x 0.1º grid. Oil sands mines in northeast Alberta contribute 3 of these hotspots even though oil sands contribute only 4% of national oil/gas emissions. Our gridded inventory shows large spatial differences with the EDGAR v5 inventory commonly used for inversions of atmospheric methane observations, especially for oil/gas. Comparison of our spatially resolved inventory to atmospheric measurements in oil/gas production fields suggests that the NIR underestimates these emissions. We also find strong spatial overlap between oil/gas, livestock, and wetland emissions in western Canada that may complicate source attribution in national-scale inversions.