The GTP of Methane: Modeling Analysis of Temperature Impacts of Methane and Carbon Dioxide Reductions


The Global Temperature Potential (GTP) has recently been proposed as an alternative to the Global Warming Potential (GWP). Using two different Earth Models of Intermediate Complexity, we show that the solution to the 100-year sustained GTP for methane is significantly larger than the equivalent GWP due to the inclusion of future changes in greenhouse gas concentrations in the reference scenario and different atmospheric chemistry assumptions. This result suggests that methane reductions may be undervalued when using GWPs, but the policy implications depend on how the objectives of greenhouse gas policy are defined.

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We thank Andrei Sokolov for the assistance in running model simulations during the revision process, as well as the editors and reviewers for feedback that led to significant improvements in the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Marcus C. Sarofim.

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Disclaimer: This publication was developed under Cooperative Agreement No. X3 83232801 awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. It has not been reviewed by EPA. The views expressed in this document are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Agency. EPA does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned in this publication.

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Sarofim, M.C. The GTP of Methane: Modeling Analysis of Temperature Impacts of Methane and Carbon Dioxide Reductions. Environ Model Assess 17, 231–239 (2012).

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  • Methane
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Global warming potential
  • Metrics
  • Global temperature potential
  • EMIC modeling