A new estimation of the recent tropospheric molecular hydrogen budget using atmospheric observations and variational inversion

C. Yver, I. Pison, A. Fortems-Cheiney, M. Schmidt, P. Bousquet, M. Ramonet, A Jordan, A. Sovde, A. Engel, R. Fisher, D. Lowry, E. Nisbet, I. Levin, S. Hammer, J. Necki, J. Bartyzel, S. Reimann, M. K. Vollmer, M. Steinbacher, T. AaltoM. Maione, I. Arduini, S. O'Doherty, A. Grant, W. Sturges, C. R. Lunder, V. Privalov, N. Paramonova

Research output: Working paperPreprint


This paper presents an analysis of the recent tropospheric molecular hydrogen (H2) budget with a particular focus on soil uptake and surface emissions. A variational inversion scheme is combined with observations from the RAMCES and EUROHYDROS atmospheric networks, which include continuous measurements performed between mid-2006 and mid-2009. Net H2 surface flux, soil uptake distinct from surface emissions and finally, soil uptake, biomass burning, anthropogenic emissions and N2 fixation-related emissions separately were inverted in several scenarios. The various inversions generate an estimate for each term of the H2 budget. The net H 2 flux per region (High Northern Hemisphere, Tropics and High Southern Hemisphere) varies between -8 and 8 Tg yr-1. The best inversion in terms of fit to the observations combines updated prior surface emissions and a soil deposition velocity map that is based on soil uptake measurements. Our estimate of global H2 soil uptake is -59 ± 4.0 Tg yr-1. Forty per cent of this uptake is located in the High Northern Hemisphere and 55% is located in the Tropics. In terms of surface emissions, seasonality is mainly driven by biomass burning emissions. The inferred European anthropogenic emissions are consistent with independent H 2 emissions estimated using a H2/CO mass ratio of 0.034 and CO emissions considering their respective uncertainties. To constrain a more robust partition of H2 sources and sinks would need additional constraints, such as isotopic measurements.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCopernicus Publications
Number of pages43
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

NameAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions
PublisherCopernicus GmbH

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