Abstract We report average tropospheric CH 4 volume mixing ratios retrieved from a 27 year time series of high spectral resolution infrared solar absorption measurements recorded between May 1977 and July 2004 at the US National Solar Observatory station on Kitt Peak ( 31 . 9 ∘ N , 111 . 6 ∘ W , 2.09 km altitude) and their comparison with surface in situ sampling measurements recorded between 1983 and 2004 at the Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory (CMDL) station at Niwot Ridge, Colorado ( 40 . 0 ∘ N , 105 . 5 ∘ W , 3013 m altitude). The two measurement sets therefore overlap for the 1983–2004 time period. An average tropospheric volume mixing ratios of 1814 ± 48 ppbv ( 1 ppbv = 10 - 9 per unit volume) has been derived from the solar absorption time series with a best-fit increase rate trend equal to 8.26 ± 2.20 ppbv yr - 1 in 1983 decreasing to 1.94 ± 3.69 ppbv yr - 1 in 2003. The CMDL measurements also show a continuous long-term CH 4 volume mixing ratio rise, with subsequent slowing down. A mean ratio of the retrieved average tropospheric volume mixing ratio to the CMDL volume mixing ratio for the overlapping time period of 1.038 ± 0.034 indicates agreement between both data sets within the quantified experimental errors.