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Variability of Surface Methane Concentration in Moscow at Different Time Scales


The variability of surface methane (СН4) concentration in Moscow at different time scales is analyzed using long-term regular measurements from the State Environmental Institution Mosecomonitoring (2005–2020). Possible mechanisms that form the methane-concentration field in the city’s atmosphere are discussed. The average concentration of methane in the urban surface layer during the cold half of the year is lower, the higher the average air temperature of the previous warm half-year. The lowest methane concentrations in Moscow in 2010 and 2011 are associated with the hot summer of 2010, which was accompanied by severe wildfires and partial dry-out of wetlands in central European Russia. The intra-annual variations in СН4 concentration exhibit minima in summer and maxima in winter. An additional maximum concentration in August–September is typical only of the night methane concentrations. In the diurnal cycle, there is a higher methane concentration in the air at night than during the day. The results demonstrate the complexity of multidirectional natural processes in the atmosphere and at the underlying surface that form a dynamically changing field of methane concentration in the surface air of a megacity.

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We thank the anonymous reviewer for helpful comments and suggestions.


The study was done with the support of a state assignment to the Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences. The data analysis was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project no. 20-05-00254.

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Correspondence to A. A. Vinogradova.

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Translated by N. Tretyakova

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Vinogradova, A.A., Ginzburg, A.S. & Gubanova, D.P. Variability of Surface Methane Concentration in Moscow at Different Time Scales. Izv. Atmos. Ocean. Phys. 58, 178–187 (2022).

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  • atmospheric air
  • Moscow
  • methane
  • temporal variability
  • sources and sinks
  • meteorological parameters