Animal : an international journal of animal bioscience

Developments in micrometeorological methods for methane measurements.

PMID 23739479


Micrometeorological techniques can be applied to estimate methane (CH4) emissions from ruminants and livestock manure using CH4 concentration measured within the internal surface boundary layer. The main advantage of these techniques is that they are non-intrusive, thereby eliminating the impact of the measurement set-up on the calculated CH4 emission. This review focuses on four micrometeorological techniques, namely, the integrated horizontal flux (IHF), flux gradient (FG), eddy covariance (EC) and the dispersion modelling using the backward Lagrangian stochastic method (BLS). Each technique has unique advantages and limitations when used for estimating enteric (ruminant) and manure CH4 emissions. The IHF technique may be theoretically simpler then the FG, EC or BLS techniques, but all require high-resolution instruments to measure concentration. The EC and BLS techniques also require a measurement of the wind statistics. This review discusses the appropriate use of these four micrometeorological techniques for estimating CH4 emissions in animal agriculture and the recent advances in measurement technology.