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Summary of results of the Fourth

International Non-CO2 Greenhouse
Gases Conference (NCGG 4), 46 July
2005, Utrecht
Published online: 16 Feb 2007.

To cite this article: (2005) Summary of results of the Fourth International Non-CO2 Greenhouse
Gases Conference (NCGG 4), 46 July 2005, Utrecht, Environmental Sciences, 2:2-3, 65-80, DOI:
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15693430500521694


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Environmental Sciences
June-September 2005; 2(2-3): 65 80

Summary of results of the Fourth International Non-CO2

Greenhouse Gases Conference (NCGG 4), 4 6 July 2005,

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The Fourth International Symposium on Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases (NCGG4) could not
have been held at a better time as many countries are more committed now to greenhouse gas
emission reductions.
During the Symposium the science, control, policy and implementation strategies were
discussed to reduce emissions.
The science has drawn our attention recently to the fact that air pollution may have
obscured the actual global warming by global dimming. The consequence of global air
pollution abatement for improvement of human health might therefore be increased global
warming. Nevertheless, the improvement of the global environment and air quality remains
top priority. Therefore during this conference the interactions between trace gases in the
atmosphere and especially the ozone chemistry were discussed extensively.
Improved monitoring of global air quality through remote sensing techniques and from
space through the new Terra and Envisat satellites are exciting. Global overview pictures and
even animations of carbon monoxide and methane are now widely available and tell us, among
other things, that the tropics are much more important than we thought earlier. Burning of
biomass in the tropics and increased industry emissions are responsible for reduced air quality
not only locally but also globally. Once emitted the air pollution travels around the globe in a
matter of weeks. The background air quality is deteriorating rapidly. Also it is found that
methane emissions from tropical wetlands are higher than earlier estimates.
Because of the wide attendance from different countries in the world the Symposium
offered excellent opportunities to discuss policy and implementation issues within the
different regions. It has now been widely recognized that the non-CO2 greenhouse gases offer
exellent opportunities to contribute substantially to meeting national commitments at
relatively low costs.
Pilot projects for the implementation of technical measures to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions are now more widespread and teach us that major improvements are possible in all
sectors of the economy, such as energy and industry, transport, agriculture, consumers, and
land use.
In comparison with the third symposium in 2002 it appears that research on source
strengths has increased, in particular for sources of nitrous oxide and methane. The relevance
of atmospheric chemistry and ozone in the discussions on climate change has been
demonstrated in greater detail by reviews and research papers in the different sessions.
Promising approaches to reduce emissions from agricultural sources are under development, as may be concluded from various contributions. Recovery of methane from coal mines
and landfills is receiving attention in a growing number of countries.
Industry is organizing itself towards an effective approach on their part in meeting
reduction targets that follow from the commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. The number
ISSN 1569-3430 print/ISSN 1744-4225 online 2005 Taylor & Francis
DOI: 10.1080/15693430500521694

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van Amstel et al.

of technological solutions through closed cycles or alternatives has increased again. Several
contributions also provide information on the costs of measures within and between the
various economic sectors.
This special issue presents information on national policies in response to Kyoto
commitments as well as on related positions of industrial interest groups. Several
contributions also provide information that supports the recommendation for an integrated
approach to climate change and air quality problems.
From the discussions it became clear that, in spite of what is available, there are still gaps in
knowledge and available technology. This will, undoubtedly, trigger the development of new
approaches or improved estimates of essential parameters. As the need for such information
will rather increase than decline in the coming years, the organizers look forward to the next
symposium in this series in a few years from now.
Most papers for NCGG4 were published in July 2005 on a CD (van Amstel 2005) to
provide the audience and IPCC with the results during the conference. The CD ROM can be
ordered through Millpress, Rotterdam. This special issue presents a selection of review papers
and extended papers from the conference, grouped according to the sessions:

Theme 1 Sources, sinks and inventories


Water, riparian zones, wetlands, forests
Industry and landfills

Theme 2 Atmospheric monitoring and modelling


Ozone and related compounds

Fluorinated gases
Remote sensing

Theme 3 Mitigation and policy implementation


Policy and integrated assessment

Economic and cost studies
Control technology in agriculture
Control technology in industry

Highlights from the conference are:

Papers were presented on measurement studies in different countries to improve the
knowledge of methane and nitrous oxide emissions at field and farm scale. Emission factors
were estimated based on these new measurements and compared with the default factors from

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Summary of results NCGG4


the IPCC 1996 Guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories (IPCC 1996). National
emission of methane from dairy cows is increasing with increasing average milk production.
Measurements confirm the IPCC methodology where emissions are estimated based on the
gross energy intake and an estimate of 6% methane emissions. In high input agriculture on rich
soils, direct nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils seem to be higher than the default
factor of 1.25% of added nitrogen (up to 6%). Compaction in heavy soils tends to increase
these emissions. In poor soils nitrous oxide emissions are mainly around 1% of the added
nitrogen. These new findings will be incorporated in the 2006 update of the IPCC Guidelines.
Measurements were compared with models such as DNDC and DAYCENTURY. In some
cases the results were similar, while in others they differed considerably. Which results are
more reliable for national greenhouse gas inventories is as yet difficult to say because of the
uncertainties surrounding both methods. Uncertainties in the estimates of nitrous oxide
emissions from soils and waters are large and have not been reduced significantly over the
years. The understanding of the mechanisms of nitrous oxide emission from nitrification was
questioned. To reduce emissions in food production the challenge is to make agriculture more
nitrogen efficient. In animal production a change in diet may be needed to reduce the methane
emissions per animal, or per litre of milk and kilogram of meat.

Water, riparian zones, wetlands, forests

Indirect nitrous oxide emissions from leaching and runoff
Several contributions addressed the indirect agricultural nitrous oxide emissions. A
considerable fraction of N applied to soils is lost to adjacent streams via leaching and runoff.
During the flow of this N-load through drainage systems, aquifers, riparian zones, streams
and estuaries towards the oceans, nitrous oxide is produced, consumed, transported and
emitted to the atmosphere. Measurement studies concluded that the IPCC emission factors
for indirect nitrous oxide emissions are generally too high. The current emission factor for
nitrous oxide from groundwater (EF5g) is 0.015 kg N2O-N/kg N leached. Measurements
were on average one order of magnitude lower than EF5g. More data would, however, be
needed to support a correction of the emission factor. Observations in the riparian bufferzones
suggest that nitrous oxide emission in relation to N input in these systems is higher compared
to aquifer and drainage data, but again there are to date insufficient data to support an
emission factor for riparian buffers. New emission data were presented for nitrous oxide from
rivers and estuaries, which were obtained using a model of the global transport of dissolved
inorganic nitrogen (DIN) by rivers to coastal waters. These new estimates for rivers and
estuaries are 1.26 Tg N/yr and 0.25 Tg N/yr respectively, which is somewhat higher than
earlier estimates, and considerably higher than those based on the IPCC Guidelines
Indirect nitrous oxide emissions from atmospheric deposition
Indirect emissions of nitrous oxide resulting from atmospheric deposition of NH3 and NOx
according to the IPCC Guidelines are 1% of the N emitted (EF4). An improved estimate was
presented at the conference based on measurement studies published after 1994 (Denier van
der Gonn et al. 2005). They suggest a new emission factor of 2.5% (with a range of 0.5 to


van Amstel et al.

4%). The participants also noted an important gap in the IPCC methodology. The indirect
nitrous oxide emissions from soils through atmospheric deposition of industrial and transport
emissions of NH3 and NOx should be taken into account in the IPCC methodology as well.
To date these indirect emissions are not taken into account by any official inventory.

Industry and landfills


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Greenhouse gases from landfills

Often, methane emissions from landfills are estimated and measured to assess the feasibility of
methane capture and use projects. In a new Italian study measurements were presented on
emissions of fluorinated gases from landfills. Rather high but fluctuating amounts were
measured and it was suggested that more systematic investigations be started to better
estimate halocarbon releases from landfills.
Fluorinated gases from mobile air conditioning (MAC)
In mobile air conditioning, CFCs are replaced by HCFCs and HFCs to reduce the ozone
depletion by chlorofluorocarbons in the higher atmosphere. However, these new gases
sometimes have high global warming potentials and should be replaced by substances like
CO2 for cooling. Two measurement studies were presented on leaking rates of refrigerants
from mobile air conditioning (MAC) in cars. From a tunnel experiment CFC-12 emissions
of 20 30 mg/hour and HFC-134a emissions of 14 mg/hour per vehicle were estimated. In
another study leakage rates were estimated from a sample of 276 passenger cars from three
sites in Europe. Plate name charges were compared with remaining charges in old cars. An
average emission rate of 52.4 g/year (about 6 mg/hour) or 6.9% of the nominal charge per
year was estimated. Smaller systems with a charge smaller than 756 gram, leaked 44.2 g/year
or 6.5%, larger systems leaked 66.9 g/year or 7.7%. No correlation with climate, mileage
driven, engine size, fuel type, AC system (automatic or manual) or expansion device (orifice
tube or expansion valve) was found. However, a clear difference by car manufacturer was
found, with the worst performer leaking three times as much as the best performer. Given
this difference, a weighted average by manufacturer was performed for the EU-15 passenger
car fleet. This yielded an average emission factor of 53.0 g/year (6.05 mg/hour) or 7.1%
of the nominal charge per year. Some scenario studies on MAC were presented for the
USA. Early availability and implementation of enhanced HFC-134a systems would have a
positive effect on the emissions over the next 10 15 years. Compared to a scenario where
only CO2 and HFC-152a systems were introduced in mobile air conditioning, the use
of enhanced HFC-134a showed slightly higher emission reductions per year for the next
10 15 years.
Nitrous oxide emissions from nitric acid production
Nitrous oxide emissions from nitric acid production for artificial fertilizers are high. Emissions
from plants with non-selective catalytic reduction (NSCR) systems were determined to be
much lower than other plants. Examples from various countries were shown indicating an
emission factor of about 9% without NSCR but only 2% with NSCR. Lower emission factors

Summary of results NCGG4


were predicted under higher ambient input temperatures and higher pressure. These effects
should be studied further as a way to reduce nitrous oxide emissions in the chemical and
fertilizer industry.
Methane from natural gas systems

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Early studies into the methane leakage from Russian natural gas pipeline systems concluded a
very high leakage rate. A recent German study concluded that the Russian natural gas system
had emissions comparable with the USA. A total life cycle balance calculation showed that
natural gas has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions of all fossil fuels and an extrapolation of
the data indicated an emission factor for Russia of 1.4%, comparable to the USA figure of
1.5%. Russia is the worlds largest natural gas producer. It was calculated that the GWPweighted emissions from pipelines were 60% CO2 from powering compressors and pumps,
1% N2O and 31% CH4. Methane emissions are from leaks in fittings and vents (21%),
maintenance (6%), operational releases (2%) and others, including breakdowns (2%).

Greenhouse gas inventories are produced annually by the parties to the Climate Convention and
the Kyoto Protocol and officially submitted to the Climate Secretariate in Bonn for compilation
and synthesis. The inventories are produced by the parties to the Convention to report the
emissions and show progress in emission reductions. Countries are using the IPCC 1996
Guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories and the Good Practice Guidance (IPCC
1996, IPCC 2000, IPCC, 2003) where they can find guidance on methodologies and emission
factors. Country-specific approaches, however, are increasingly important. During the
conference it became clear that countries are making every effort to improve country- specific
information and country-specific emission factors to reduce the uncertainty in the estimates.
Several studies reported on measurements that can be used to further stratify the emissions factor
database towards regional and climate specific emission factors. Many countries now improve
estimates based on measurements and models that are specific to their situation. This
information will be used to produce the updated IPCC 2006 Guidelines (IPCC 2006).
Discussions during this session focused on general issues such as the state of the inventories
and expected improvements, uncertainty of the inventories and methods for uncertainty
assessments. Some contributions focused on possibilities of new techniques to constrain the
inventory outcomes. These can be measurements of isotopic fingerprints, measurements and
models to improve the information on the greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere,
or high tower emissions measurements to check the outcomes of inventories.
Higher tier methodologies
Especially in agriculture, suggestions for improvement of the inventories focused on methane
and nitrous oxide. A study from New Zealand reported on the improvement of the national
inventories by adopting an IPCC tier 2 methodology for methane from enteric fermentation
in cattle and sheep. The recalculation incorporated the intake of food of animals. As a
consequence, the level of emissions decreased but the trend of emissions between 1990 and
2000 was inverted from a 6.4% decrease to an 8.2% increase. Another measurement study in


van Amstel et al.

the Netherlands on methane from enteric fermentation in dairy cows showed very good
agreement between experimental data and the IPCC calculation method.

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Advanced methodologies
Process-based models were recommended at the previous conference (NCGG3) in 2002 to
be considered as an alternative to emission factor inventory methods and to be used for the
evaluation of emission reduction technologies. As a result, the number of presentations
based on modelling studies has increased considerably in NCGG4. Many studies suggest
improvement of nitrous oxide emission estimates from soils by adopting models that
capture the variability in space and time. It was suggested that use of the denitrification
decomposition model (DNDC model) or similar models could improve the estimates of
nitrous oxide from N additions to soils. These studies show that substantial progress has
been made but still some discrepancies are found between model results and experimental
observations. These arise mainly due to important assumptions made in the models
regarding such factors as the water filled pore space and the carbon content of the upper
soil layer.
Some studies pointed out that there are still missing or incomplete sources in the inventories,
such as methane from flooded areas due to dam or reservoir construction and incomplete
accounting of nitrogen losses from soils and water bodies such as in riparian zones.
There is an increasing awareness of the importance of a sound uncertainty assessment. The
overall uncertainty of the EU inventory has been estimated at 4 8%, but the uncertainty in
the land use and agriculture-related sources is at least 20%, where the highest uncertainty is
found. The quality of the inventories will be improved by targeting the most uncertain
sources. There is an increasing acknowledgement of the advantages of a multi-pollutant
assessment of different agricultural emissions for different reporting obligations for air
pollution, climate change and water pollution. This enhances the consistency and coherence
of the inventories in a most cost-effective way.
Compared to the situation three years ago, the quality of national greenhouse gas
inventories for non-CO2 greenhouse gases has improved considerably. An increasing number
of countries have switched to tier 2 or higher approaches for non-CO2 key sources such as rice
production or enteric fermentation. Sophisticated tools such as process-based models, topdown models and isotopic studies have shown good progress and are or will soon be available
to further constrain national inventories.

Ozone and related compounds

Ozone is an important secondary greenhouse gas as it is formed in the atmosphere from
reactions between other pollutants. The most important ozone precursors are methane and
non-methane hydrocarbons such as isoprene and monoterpenes. Nitrogen oxides in the
atmosphere are very important as well as they influence the abundance of ozone and methane
through chemical feedback mechanisms. In nitrogen oxides rich areas ozone is formed during
the daytime producing photochemical smog. At night-time nitrogen oxides help to break

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Summary of results NCGG4


down ozone, but as ozone drifts away to cleaner areas it cannot be broken down again, leading
to high ozone concentrations outside industrial areas. In high concentrations ozone is a health
hazard as it affects the lung function of humans. It can also damage vegetation. The session
focused first on field measurements of natural and anthropogenic emissions of different
compounds and then on the model evaluation of their atmospheric chemical and radiative
effects. In the session non-methane hydrocarbons in the tropics were discussed and the role of
NOx in radiative forcing.
The biosphere releases about 1 Gt C/year (range 0.5 1.5 Gt C/year) as non-methane
hydrocarbon, largely as isoprene and monoterpenes. This is about 80% of the total global
NMHC emissions, of which about 70% takes place in the tropics. This has motivated aircraft
measurements of NMHC in Kenya, eastern Africa, to estimate the emissions from land
use change (Steinbrecher et al. 2005). It appears that both the natural vegetation and the
plantations in east Africa emit five times more isoprene than monoterpenes. The isoprene
emissions from arable land areas, on the other hand, are about five times lower, while the
monoterpene emissions are quite similar. The continuing deforestation in Kenya will thus
have important consequences for the emissions of isoprene.
The role of nitrogen oxide emissions in radiative forcing of climate was estimated using the
UK Meteorological Office chemistry-transport model (Derwent et al. 2005). NOx influences
the abundance of ozone and methane through chemical feedback mechanisms. The effect of
NOx was studied by applying a pulse emission in the model, both globally and for selected
regions. The results show that the NOx perturbations lead to both short- and long-term
responses, mainly through the influences on tropospheric ozone and methane (the latter
through changes in the hydroxyl abundance). Short-term responses include a significant
increase of ozone and a decrease of methane. Long-term responses (10 15 years) include a
recovery of methane and an associated increase of ozone. The sensitivity simulations indicate
a much larger response to NOx emissions in Asia compared to Europe. The larger sensitivity
was found for south-east Asia.
A model intercomparison was reported by Van Noije et al. (2005). The tropospheric
column NO2 simulations were compared with GOME and SCIAMACHY satellite
measurements, indicating high correlations, giving confidence in the model results, especially
with respect to the NOx source inventry. One of the models was subsequently used to
compute the 1960 2004 changes in concentrations of tropospheric ozone. To study possible
future changes in tropospheric ozone, new emission scenarios were developed for the period
up to 2030. Comparison of the new scenarios with the SRES A2 scenario (used by IPCC in
the Third Assessment Report) indicate lower NOx emissions, especially from eastern Asia,
leading to reduced radiative forcing by tropospheric ozone. However, this depends on the
assumptions about the mitigation technologies applied. In fact, GOME and SCIAMACHY
measurements indicate that tropospheric column NO2 over Eastern Asia has increased
strongly by about 15% per year over the period 1996 to 2004.

At the NCGG4 conference a full session was dedicated to methane with a focus on the
contemporary budget and implications for future scenarios. An important recent finding of
the global monitoring networks is that the methane growth rate has levelled off during the
1990s and has reached an apparent steady state since the year 2000. The emission inventories

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indeed confirm stabilization or even a slightly declining net source strength in some developed
countries, attributed to reduced emissions from landfills, cattle, and fossil fuel transportation.
These findings suggest that methane may be considered a relatively easy candidate for
greenhouse gas mitigation policy and that international efforts might allow a substantial
reduction of the global methane concentration level, unless any future degradation of
permafrost is more catastrophic than it seems to be at present.
Remote sensing was highlighted as a new research area with significant progress. Recent
retrievals from the SCIAMACHY instrument show realistic geographical distributions of
methane that compare well with model predictions and reproduce several known emission
hotspots such as the Red Sea basin in China (coal, rice), the Ganges plains (rice, cattle,
waste), and the Great Lake area (coal, cattle, waste). Furthermore, the measurements hint at
an unknown or largely underestimated source over tropical rainforests, which call for more
Inverse modelling of CH4 was well represented during the methane session with
contributions of regional and global scale analyses. On the global scale, inter-annual
variability was addressed pointing at inversion-derived variations in biomass burning and
wetland emissions that seem to reproduce the mean features, as shown by comparison with
independent estimates from remote sensing-derived biomass burning and wetland modelling.
Extension of the inversion with remote sensing-derived CH4 measurements is considered a
promising direction that will be investigated in the near future.
First results were presented of a regional inverse modelling study focusing on Europe on
the basis of a sophisticated network of continuous measurements sites. Encouraging results
were obtained for several European countries, even anticipating a correction of the emission
totals reported afterwards for Germany. A surprising finding was a notable reduction in the
Finnish emissions, most likely related to wetlands. More research is needed to resolve this
apparent controversy between bottom-up and top-down. A different study over the USA
reported underestimated emissions, presumably from aged oil reservoirs, by analysing grab
samples in a region of enhanced CH4 concentrations.
The research on methane emissions from arctic wetlands focuses on possible feedbacks to
climate change. Specifically the degradation of permafrost was discussed, which did not yet seem
to show signs of catastrophic methane release as has been hypothesized in the past. Nevertheless,
the resulting wetland habitats release substantial amounts of methane to the atmosphere.
An overview was presented of geological processes that either continuously or sporadically
release large quantities of CH4 in the atmosphere (Etiope 2005). So-called mud volcanoes,
which release gases consisting largely of methane, received special attention. The dominant
regions of geological activity are fairly well documented. The annual emission per region,
however, remains highly uncertain. In particular, the process of micro-seepage in the vicinity
of oil/gas wells or active volcanoes is difficult to quantify but may potentially be important.
Global extrapolation of all the known geological sources of methane reaches a value as high as
50 TgCH4/year, which implies a sizeable source class, which is nevertheless often neglected in
the global CH4 budget. Unfortunately, monitoring networks are at large distance from these
sources complicating verification by atmospheric analysis.
In summary, significant efforts are being made to improve our understanding of CH4,
leading to a better understanding of the observed concentration fluctuations and trends.
Corrections to existing emission inventories are being made and additional shortcomings have
been identified. Despite all this, the future evolution of CH4 remains difficult to predict
necessitating the continuation of research and monitoring efforts. Regions that should receive
specific attention include rapidly developing countries in south-east Asia and poorly
monitored tropical landmasses.

Summary of results NCGG4


Fluorinated gases

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Important advances have been made in our monitoring capabilities for fluorinated gases over
Europe. In addition to monitoring of key PFCs and a number CFC-replacement gases,
atmospheric records have been started for new industrial agents that have recently come into
production. Bottom-up and top-down estimated source strengths for SF6 have not converged
in recent years, and reconciliation efforts will be further complicated by the unknown but
growing contribution from developing countries.
A large section of the fluorinated gases session was devoted to atmospheric observations.
Within the SOGE (System for Observation of halogenated Greenhouse gases in Europe)
lesund (Norway), Monte Cimone (Italy), Mace Head
network, comprising of sites at Ny A
(Ireland), and Jungfraujoch (Switzerland), regular measurements are made of fluorinated
compounds such as CFC-11, CFC-12, and HFC-134a. These efforts are embedded in the
older AGAGE network and if possible gases are calibrated against the same standards. Newly
developed instruments such as the Medusa gas chromatograph allow observations of more
species at higher temporal resolutions, as was illustrated for CF4 and C2F6, both related to
aluminum production. Also, new compounds produced as CFC-replacement gases are now
monitored from Jungfraujoch, Switzerland. This includes the foam-blowing agents HFC245fa, HFC-227ea, and HFC-365mfc. A major step forward is the fact that mixing ratios of
these compounds are measured from their very first release to the atmosphere. Thus,
retrospective analyses of their sources and atmospheric distribution for the pre-observational
record such as was required for the CFCs will not be necessary for these compounds.
A second positive development noted in this session was the tendency for integrated
analyses of these new observations. Pollution signals registered at the monitoring sites are
related to possible source regions through Lagrangian particle models and trajectory models,
and the source magnitudes are thus estimated. Promising skill was demonstrated in these
methods by several speakers, but more observation sites are needed to cover the European
continent adequately. Also, two groups reported modelling advancements to calculate
historical and current radiative forcing by fluorinated compounds.
As more observations become available to constrain the atmospheric burden of compounds
such as SF6, we note a divergence between bottom-up and top-down estimates. Recent
UNFCCC reported reductions in SF6 emission are not reflected in the atmospheric SF6
record, likely because the unreported fraction of the SF6 budget is growing. These emissions
partly occur in countries that do not need to report to UNFCCC, but it is speculated that
emissions from military applications that are not included in current bottom-up accounting
schemes might contribute to the gap between the two approaches. This will complicate topdown verification of the effect of future reductions, which were shown in our session to
potentially be substantial for SF6.

Remote sensing
It is the first time in the series of NCGG symposia that a formal session was specifically
devoted to remote sensing observations of the Earths atmosphere. The session included

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presentations of results from European programs dealing with remote sensing measurements,
both from space and from the ground, of primary and secondary non-CO2 greenhouse gases
of climate-related relevance.
First the status of the atmospheric space sensor OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) using
UV and visible backscatter techniques was summarized. This approach is an evolution of
GOME and similar projects but has increased spectral resolution, allowing retrieval of more
tropospheric information on the O3 column, as well as on aerosol and O3 precursors such as
NO2 and H2CO.
Then the current results of CH4 retrievals from ENVISAT in the EVERGREEN project,
were presented, covering the normalization relative to CO2, and the limitations posed by
clouds and low ocean albedo. Comparison of tropospheric CH4 distributions with that
expected from the TM5 model has revealed some significant differences that require further
The re-analysis, with inversion algorithms that implement a modern optimal estimation
method, of solar spectra recorded with FTIR spectrometers operated at a European set of
NDSC-affiliated ground-based sites, was presented. Results were shown for O3, CH4, N2O,
CO, and C2H6, with vertical resolution allowing identification of tropospheric as well as
stratospheric partial columns. Initial comparisons with the Oslo CTM2 model calculations
were presented.
The long-term evolution of the atmospheric loading of twelve NCGGs (primary as well as
secondary ones) derived since the mid-1980s from FTIR solar observations performed at the
NDSC-Jungfraujoch site (Switzerland) was discussed. Emphasis was placed on observed
trends compliant with the amended Montreal Protocol (e.g. for CFCs, HCFCs), and others
showing either total atmospheric loading stabilization (e.g. CH4) or overall decreases (e.g.
CO, C2H2, C2H6, OCS).
Monitoring of NCGGs at two Italian high-mountain sites was reported, but this work is
primarily based on local in situ gas sampling approaches, and thus is not specifically relevant to
remote sensing approaches. This research has supported the SOGE project.
Despite the limited number of European communications with respect to activities being
currently conducted worldwide via remote sensing techniques, the presentations have shown:

the potential of remote sensing spectrometry to monitor, quasi-simultaneously, a large

number of NCGG atmospheric constituents, for their total as well as their partial
tropospheric and stratospheric column abundances, both from the ground and from space;
progress made during recent years in space-based measurements for sounding the
tropospheric composition, and in ground-based observations to provide reliable
information on the concentration of key NCGGs versus altitude, in particular partial
tropospheric and stratospheric loadings;
the complementarity between remote-sensing measurements performed from groundand space-based programmes, the former providing decades-long datasets, while the latter
ensure global coverage;
the benefit of combining measurements and related modelling, to improve both global
and regional emission inventories of primary NCGGs, provided the models have
previously been validated (which is not yet satisfactory concerning complementary

The OMI project is providing new indirect information on tropospheric O3 precursor

emissions. For example, it has demonstrated the rapidity of day-to-day changes in NOx over
Western Europe, and produced new NO2 column density values with global coverage.

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Summary of results NCGG4


The EVERGREEN project has identified unexpectedly high CH4 abundances over the
Colombia Venezuela region, which may indicate an additional CH4 source in this area. Also
high CH4 over inland China may indicate higher emissions from coal mining than previously
Comparison of UFTIR results over Europe with the Oslo CTM2 chemical tracer model
indicates that when heterogeneous chemistry is included in the model, good agreement
can be achieved with observed tropospheric trends using existing estimates of emissions.
This improves overall confidence in estimates of the general magnitude and trends of
European emissions of O3 precursors.
Temporal changes observed in long-term atmospheric loadings of primary NCGGs (e.g.
N2O, SF6, CFC-11, CFC-12, HCFC-22) were commensurate with expectations from
emission inventories and model predictions, except for CH4 whose abundance stabilization
since the late 1990s remains unexplained. Secondary NCGGs (e.g. CO, C2H6, C2H2, HCN)
have allowed quantifying important contributions of boreal biomass burning, as well as southeast Asian fires during strong El Nino warm periods; their overall two-decade long trend
characteristics remain poorly understood in terms of source strengths and atmospheric sinks.
The atmosphere
Several papers in this session showed the increasing level of agreement between observed
primary greenhouse gas abundances and model calculations using existing emission estimates
and information on atmospheric chemistry processes. The state of the art in this area has
moved past demonstrating general agreement between global scale emissions and atmospheric chemistry and transport modelling and is now able to focus on identifying specific
anomalous regions and consequent re-evaluation of sources in those regions. Secondary
NCGGs, because they affect both the infrared opacity (moderately) as well as the oxidation
capacity (strongly) of the troposphere, and even the stratospheric aerosol layer (definitely the
case for OCS), should be given increasing consideration within the context of the Kyoto
Efforts to increase synergy among various remote-sensing measurement programmes
performed from aboard different complementary observational platforms are being
implemented and exploited successfully, thus easing inter-comparison approaches and
increasing internal consistency among the observed data products.
Acknowledgement has to be made here of the ongoing fundamental laboratory work dealing
with the spectroscopic characterization of all constituents (both gaseous and particulate)
present in the atmosphere, and upon which any remote-sensing technique is founded.

Policy and integrated assessment

A number of developed countries are able to report continuing reductions of non-CO2
greenhouse gases. As an example, The Netherlands reports reduction of non-CO2 gases by
more than 30% over the past 10 years, and these reductions are occurring in each of the major
sectors (waste, oil and gas, agriculture).
Ongoing analysis of impact of implementing policy drivers for mitigating non-CO2
greenhouse gases indicate that reductions have been driven by a combination of climate change

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policies, non-climate change regulations (e.g. landfill gas regulation), and industry initiatives
(HFC/PFC). Assessing the contribution of each of the drivers to the final result remains a
difficult task, but possibly at this stage the direct effect of implemented climate change policies
on mitigation of non-CO2 greenhouse gases in general remains relatively minor.
Key countries in the developing world (India and China) are demonstrating remarkable
economic growth (8% per year). With this growth comes an increase in emissions of non-CO2
gases, in particular, with increases in CH4 and N2O emissions from agriculture in these
Since NCGG-3 there has been a large growth in the number and complexity of our
modelling capabilities. This allows us to improve our understanding of non-CO2 mitigation
potential and costs in key countries and regions. Improvement has also been made in
incorporating analyses of developing countries and key sectors such as agriculture and forestry.
Over the past several years the research agenda for non-CO2 mitigation options (particularly)
for agriculture have moved from the theoretical to the applied. The policy agenda since NCCG3 seems to have moved quite quickly towards a focus on implementation measures.
Since NCGG-3, many countries are moving forward with policy approaches to reduce
GHG emissions. Despite the known economic benefits of adopting mitigation policies that
could equalize marginal abatement costs across the different greenhouse gases, however, no
country has adopted such an approach. Policy measures have largely focused on CO2
somewhat independently and are not taking advantage of possible trade-offs among different
greenhouse gases.
Control options for sources of methane and nitrous apart from agriculture did not receive
much attention in Session 9 at NCGC-4. It appears that there are other forums for the
discussion of these issues.
There was a stronger recognition in the policy area for the need to better understand
emissions of the non-CO2 gases (and CO2) from a life-cycle perspective. While these life-cycle
assessments need to inform policy, they can be very complex and resource intensive.
Researchers need to work with policy makers to develop simplified life-cycle approaches that
could better inform future policy decisions.
Mitigation options from landfills and animal waste are being implemented in both the
developed and developing world.
Fundamental to the success of implementation of policies for the mitigation of non-CO2
greenhouse gases is the need for actions to be financially beneficial. This was a clear message
from a number of different circumstances reported at the NCGG-4.
Modeling non-CO2 emissions and mitigation in developing countries presents particular
challenges due to a variety of factors (e.g. fuel price variation, role of local technologies).
Future efforts will be needed to improve modelling capabilities and tools to more accurately
depict these unique circumstances and account for these issues.
There has been an improvement in our abilities to perform integrated assessment and a
growth in the number of models and tools. Future efforts should focus on sharing lessons
learned from these efforts to both avoid redundancy and enhance the integration of these
activities. Research over the last few years has demonstrated that mitigation of the non-CO2
gases in the near term can both reduce costs and deliver near-term climate benefits. The
appropriate or optimal balance between pursuit of longer-term (CO2) mitigation efforts and
these nearer-term actions has not been firmly established. While operation frameworks are being
developed to address this issue, future research could further our understanding of this issue.

Summary of results NCGG4


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There is increased cooperation among countries on implementation issues (i.e. technology

transfer, information sharing) For example, in the area of methane mitigation from animal
waste management, several developed countries are in different stages of implementation.
Additional progress can be made if we better facilitate information sharing on lessons learned.
It seems that simple and possibly intuitive policy measures are being applied for some nonCO2 sources (e.g. subsidies for power generation from waste management). We are now
entering a phase where more substantial policy measures will require improved science and
economic inputs. Conversely, science and economics will need to be more strongly directed
to address the needs for policy makers.
There was strong recognition that ultimately changes in industry or behavioural change
within societies will be driven by the extent to which actions align with or exceed community
values and expectations. In the future, policy makers will need to become increasingly aware
of sociological and moral values within communities.

Economic and cost studies

For the non CO2 greenhouse gas abatement a vast number of cost effective opportunities
exist. These gases should rank high in national climate programmes. There is an ongoing
need for more and reliable data on emission reductions and related costs. Achievements of
national action plans under the Kyoto agreement become visible now and are recommended
to bring up in the upcoming years.
Paths of development and recommendations for future work, as identified at NCGG-3, have
been followed in the past three years, as is clearly visible now in several reports at NCGG-4.

Bottom-up abatement costs curves for non-CO2 greenhouse gases are now available for a
variety of regions all over the world.
Models have been developed for the integrated assessment of greenhouse gas (CO2 and
non-CO2) least costs control strategies. Links with control of the traditional air pollutants
are under investigation.
Many papers confirm that there is a significant potential to reduce non-CO2 gases
emissions at much lower costs compared with CO2 abatement. Non-CO2 gases should
rank high in strategies to comply with the Kyoto agreement.
Technological changes in time, increasing efficiencies of processes, changes of costs and
other parameters are being considered now, giving rise to dynamic models instead of a
static approach.

Despite the fact that more information is available now for the agricultural sector, there
are still too few data on emission reductions and costs for this domain to allow reliable
costs curves to be developed. This is an issue for future work that will take a few years at
Practically all studies struggle with uncertainties and a lack of data for the input to models.
This is one of the reasons for adding a sensitivity analysis to assess the influence of
parameters, as is found in several papers. Reducing the many uncertainties and thus
consolidating the emission uncertainties are handled in a study focused on the requirement
that emission targets be met with a predefined degree of certainty. Imposing such a
requirement has an impact on costs/prices and consequently on strategic decisions.

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Now policies and actions are in progress in many countries to combat stratospheric ozone
depletion and global warming, it is time for reports on countries achievements. At NCGG-4 a
report has been presented for the Netherlands, where a specific action programme exists for
NCG gases. It is interesting to see that an attempt is made to allocate costs to three parties
involved: the end-user, society, government, as recommended at NCGG-3. Substantial
differences between achievements and expectations are reported, due to uncertainties in the past,
changes in markets and government policies. Most reductions appear to be driven by policies
already in place before the Kyoto target was set; the specific programme, mentioned above, has
generated about 20% of the reductions. This shows again that policies and programmes face
many exogenous influences that are difficult to predict. Such reports, being feedback for the
modelling exercises and the decision maker, are of course very welcome in the upcoming years.
The chemical alternatives to ozone-depleting substances in many applications such as
refrigeration, airconditioning and foams contribute to climate change and vice versa, climate
change may also influence the ozone layer. So the ozone and global warming issue deserve a
combined analysis, which has been addressed now by IPCC and TEAP. The emissions of
CFCs and HCFCs are now much larger than the estimated releases related to current
production. A significant contribution comes from the stored amounts, so the current
emissions are largely determined by historic use patterns. Banks of engineered chemicals in
the domains of refrigeration, airconditioning and foams, and their effects on emissions
deserve further studies. GWP figures are apparently prone to new insights, where the IPCC/
TEAP reports that recent scientific values for certain compounds differ significantly from
previous reported GWPs. It is observed that comprehensive assessments covering direct and
indirect energy-related emissions, full life-cycle aspects, as well as health, safety and
miscellaneous environmental aspects are currently almost absent: a challenge for future work.
Furthermore it is recommended to develop simplified standardized methodologies for
economic analyses, based on a common set of methods and assumptions.
Non-CO2 reduction projects are increasingly gaining interest under the Kyoto Protocols
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Via this route greenhouse gas reduction projects can
be set up in developing countries, with the asset of emission credits for industrialized countries.
Successes are highly dependent on agreeing on baseline technologies and setting up national
CDM-authorities. CDM-implementation is highly dependent on the local political climate.

Control technology in agriculture

There is an increasing interest in emission reduction in agriculture. A general finding of the
session is that apart from the uncertainties about emissions and emission factors that still
exist analysis of control options is complicated due to the many interactions that exist in
agricultural systems. In various cases emission reduction of one greenhouse gas leads to an
emission increase of other greenhouse gases. Moreover, there are also interactions with other
environmental effects, including the emissions of ammonia and nitric acid. Also spatial and
temporal heterogeneities are substantial. This means that results reported for one country are
not necessarily valid for other regions.
A number of technologies turn out to be attractive in various studies. These include:

nitrification inhibitors to reduce N2O emissions;

no-tillage agriculture.

Summary of results NCGG4


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Both measures lead to higher production and lower GHG emissions. Also the effect of
forestation of pasture land turned out to be positive (enhance CH4 sink) but this finding may
be specific to the situation in the country of study.
Effects on production can be both positive and negative. This causes methodological
difficulties, e.g. in some cases the GHG emissions per unit of product decreases, but the
emissions per hectare stay the same due to increased production. Another methodological
problem that was identified is that various emission reduction measures do not lead to a
decrease of emissions to be reported according to the official guidelines.
Extended modelling excercises were reported: for the Netherlands an extended system that
provided the environmental and economic effects of 40 different measures. At the other end
of the scale, new modelling effort that will lead to global emission reduction supply curves.
To some extent emission reductions have already been achieved through the implementation of non-climate policies. It was generally felt that GHG emission reduction is not high on
the agenda of farmers. A number of steps need still to be taken before effective policies can be
implemented that reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

Control technology in industry

Non-selective catalytic reduction has been improved to reduce emissions from fertilizer
production. This abatement technology for N2O emission reduction in nitric acid production
is now available and has been implemented in several plants. In industry N2O can also be
considered an input, e.g. as a green oxidant instead of a NCGG pollutant. If this approach
becomes successful, then economically viable N2O production would have to be developed.
This type of valorization also applies to converting coal mine gas into electricity. Also several
new PPPs (private public partnerships) have been developed in recent years on CH4 to
markets (USA plus 15 countries) and other areas (e.g. PFC reduction in aluminium and
semiconductor industry).
Have we seen progress since NCGG-3?
There is some progress in making information public to relevant stakeholders with respect to a
variety of technical and organizational subjects related to NCGG reduction. More focus on
implementation issues is increasingly occurring. Important partnerships are industry and
government working together on the issues of methane recovery and use from coal mines,
landfills and waste water treatment plants. Industry has implemented reduction technology in
the aluminium industry, for example, by changing and modernizing aluminium smelter
technology. More can be done; for example, in the search for alternatives for cooling agents
and integrated technologies.
Are important issues still unaddressed?
Still unknown sources of greenhouse gases have been discovered. We need better
characterization of these undefined NCGG sources. Several countries are making progress
in identifying different options to reduce emissions in industry. An assessment is needed
of the barriers and challenges for successful introduction. Studies are being carried out
with stakeholders to stimulate new NCGG reduction options. Stakeholder participation is a


van Amstel et al.

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two-way knowledge exchange. Promising options from a scientific point of view are not
necessarily economically viable. Global warming and atmospheric pollution issues are often
considered separately. Coupling of ozone depletion potential and global warming potential for
F-gases is necessary. Alternatives for fluorinated gases have to be low in global warming
potential. A more integrative approach is needed in various NCGG implementation areas.
More positive incentives are needed, both related to financial and technical issues, to
headstart some of the options. Not only barriers, but also carriers need to be addressed.