The distribution of CH4 in the atmosphere is affected by sources and sinks at the Earth's surface, chemical loss by reaction with the hydroxyl radical, and by atmospheric transport (principally, winds and convection). Large scale seasonal and spatial patterns in CH4 distribution can be observed directly from observations at discrete locations, but it is also quite interesting to look at the simulated global CH4 distribution, since the assimilation effectively fills in with estimated CH4 where observations do not exist. In particular, the simulations highlight coherent short term patterns due to weather itself. The movies also show the rapid zonal mixing of the atmosphere; CH4 emitted in the USA, for example, can reach Asia in a couple weeks.
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