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2019
Cui, YY, Vijayan A, Falk M, Hsu YK, Yin DZ, Chen XM, Zhao Z, Avise J, Chen YJ, Verhulst K, Duren R, Yadav V, Miller C, Weiss R, Keeling R, Kim J, Iraci LT, Tanaka T, Johnson MS, Kort EA, Bianco L, Fischer ML, Stroud K, Herner J, Croes B.  2019.  A multiplatform inversion estimation of statewide and regional methane emissions in California during 2014-2016. Environmental Science & Technology. 53:9636-9645.   10.1021/acs.est.9b01769   AbstractWebsite

California methane (CH4) emissions are quantified for three years from two tower networks and one aircraft campaign. We used backward trajectory simulations and a mesoscale Bayesian inverse model, Mbring ratios (VI ' initialized by three inventories, to achieve the emission quantification. Results show total statewide CH4 emissions of 2.05 +/- 0.26 (at 95% confidence) Tg/yr, which is 1.14 to 1.47 times greater than the anthropogenic emission estimates by California Air Resource Board (GARB). Some of differences could be biogenic emissions, superemitter point sources, and other episodic emissions which may not be completely included in the CARB inventory. San Joaquin Valley (SJV) has the largest CH4 emissions (0.94 +/- 0.18 Tg/yr), followed by the South Coast Air Basin, the Sacramento Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area at 0.39 +/- 0.18, 0.21 +/- 0.04, and 0.16 +/- 0.05 Tg/yr, respectively. The dairy and oil/gas production sources in the SJV contribute 0.44 +/- 0.36 and 0.22 +/- 0.23 Tg CH4/yr, respectively. This study has important policy implications for regulatory programs, as it provides a thorough multiyear evaluation of the emissions inventory using independent atmospheric measurements and investigates the utility of a complementary multiplatform approach in understanding the spatial and temporal patterns of CH4 emissions in the state and identifies opportunities for the expansion and applications of the monitoring network.

Mühle, J, Trudinger CM, Western LM, Rigby M, Vollmer MK, Park S, Manning AJ, Say D, Ganesan A, Steele LP, Ivy DJ, Arnold T, Li S, Stohl A, Harth CM, Salameh PK, McCulloch A, O'Doherty S, Park MK, Jo CO, Young D, Stanley KM, Krummel PB, Mitrevski B, Hermansen O, Lunder C, Evangeliou N, Yao B, Kim J, Hmiel B, Buizert C, Petrenko VV, Arduini J, Maione M, Etheridge DM, Michalopoulou E, Czerniak M, Severinghaus JP, Reimann S, Simmonds PG, Fraser PJ, Prinn RG, Weiss RF.  2019.  Perfluorocyclobutane (PFC-318, c-C4F8) in the global atmosphere. Atmos. Chem. Phys.. 19:10335-10359.: Copernicus Publications   10.5194/acp-19-10335-2019   Abstract

We reconstruct atmospheric abundances of the potent greenhouse gas c-C4F8 (perfluorocyclobutane, perfluorocarbon PFC-318) from measurements of in situ, archived, firn, and aircraft air samples with precisions of ∼1 %–2 % reported on the SIO-14 gravimetric calibration scale. Combined with inverse methods, we found near-zero atmospheric abundances from the early 1900s to the early 1960s, after which they rose sharply, reaching 1.66 ppt (parts per trillion dry-air mole fraction) in 2017. Global c-C4F8 emissions rose from near zero in the 1960s to 1.2±0.1 (1σ) Gg yr−1 in the late 1970s to late 1980s, then declined to 0.77±0.03 Gg yr−1 in the mid-1990s to early 2000s, followed by a rise since the early 2000s to 2.20±0.05 Gg yr−1 in 2017. These emissions are significantly larger than inventory-based emission estimates. Estimated emissions from eastern Asia rose from 0.36 Gg yr−1 in 2010 to 0.73 Gg yr−1 in 2016 and 2017, 31 % of global emissions, mostly from eastern China. We estimate emissions of 0.14 Gg yr−1 from northern and central India in 2016 and find evidence for significant emissions from Russia. In contrast, recent emissions from northwestern Europe and Australia are estimated to be small (≤1 % each). We suggest that emissions from China, India, and Russia are likely related to production of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, “Teflon”) and other fluoropolymers and fluorochemicals that are based on the pyrolysis of hydrochlorofluorocarbon HCFC-22 (CHClF2) in which c-C4F8 is a known by-product. The semiconductor sector, where c-C4F8 is used, is estimated to be a small source, at least in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Europe. Without an obvious correlation with population density, incineration of waste-containing fluoropolymers is probably a minor source, and we find no evidence of emissions from electrolytic production of aluminum in Australia. While many possible emissive uses of c-C4F8 are known and though we cannot categorically exclude unknown sources, the start of significant emissions may well be related to the advent of commercial PTFE production in 1947. Process controls or abatement to reduce the c-C4F8 by-product were probably not in place in the early decades, explaining the increase in emissions in the 1960s and 1970s. With the advent of by-product reporting requirements to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the 1990s, concern about climate change and product stewardship, abatement, and perhaps the collection of c-C4F8 by-product for use in the semiconductor industry where it can be easily abated, it is conceivable that emissions in developed countries were stabilized and then reduced, explaining the observed emission reduction in the 1980s and 1990s. Concurrently, production of PTFE in China began to increase rapidly. Without emission reduction requirements, it is plausible that global emissions today are dominated by China and other developing countries. We predict that c-C4F8 emissions will continue to rise and that c-C4F8 will become the second most important emitted PFC in terms of CO2-equivalent emissions within a year or two. The 2017 radiative forcing of c-C4F8 (0.52 mW m−2) is small but emissions of c-C4F8 and other PFCs, due to their very long atmospheric lifetimes, essentially permanently alter Earth's radiative budget and should be reduced. Significant emissions inferred outside of the investigated regions clearly show that observational capabilities and reporting requirements need to be improved to understand global and country-scale emissions of PFCs and other synthetic greenhouse gases and ozone-depleting substances.

Rigby, M, Park S, Saito T, Western LM, Redington AL, Fang X, Henne S, Manning AJ, Prinn RG, Dutton GS, Fraser PJ, Ganesan AL, Hall BD, Harth CM, Kim J, Kim KR, Krummel PB, Lee T, Li S, Liang Q, Lunt MF, Montzka SA, Muhle J, O'Doherty S, Park MK, Reimann S, Salameh PK, Simmonds P, Tunnicliffe RL, Weiss RF, Yokouchi Y, Young D.  2019.  Increase in CFC-11 emissions from eastern China based on atmospheric observations. Nature. 569:546-+.   10.1038/s41586-019-1193-4   AbstractWebsite

The recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer relies on the continued decline in the atmospheric concentrations of ozone-depleting gases such as chlorofluorocarbons(1). The atmospheric concentration of trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11), the second-most abundant chlorofluorocarbon, has declined substantially since the mid-1990s(2). A recently reported slowdown in the decline of the atmospheric concentration of CFC-11 after 2012, however, suggests that global emissions have increased(3,4). A concurrent increase in CFC-11 emissions from eastern Asia contributes to the global emission increase, but the location and magnitude of this regional source are unknown(3). Here, using high-frequency atmospheric observations from Gosan, South Korea, and Hateruma, Japan, together with global monitoring data and atmospheric chemical transport model simulations, we investigate regional CFC-11 emissions from eastern Asia. We show that emissions from eastern mainland China are 7.0 +/- 3.0 (+/- 1 standard deviation) gigagrams per year higher in 2014-2017 than in 2008-2012, and that the increase in emissions arises primarily around the northeastern provinces of Shandong and Hebei. This increase accounts for a substantial fraction (at least 40 to 60 per cent) of the global rise in CFC-11 emissions. We find no evidence for a significant increase in CFC-11 emissions from any other eastern Asian countries or other regions of the world where there are available data for the detection of regional emissions. The attribution of any remaining fraction of the global CFC-11 emission rise to other regions is limited by the sparsity of long-term measurements of sufficient frequency near potentially emissive regions. Several considerations suggest that the increase in CFC-11 emissions from eastern mainland China is likely to be the result of new production and use, which is inconsistent with the Montreal Protocol agreement to phase out global chlorofluorocarbon production by 2010.

Yadav, V, Duren R, Mueller K, Verhulst KR, Nehrkorn T, Kim J, Weiss RF, Keeling R, Sander S, Fischer ML, Newman S, Falk M, Kuwayama T, Hopkins F, Rafiq T, Whetstone J, Miller C.  2019.  Spatio-temporally resolved methane fluxes from the Los Angeles megacity. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 124:5131-5148.   10.1029/2018jd030062   AbstractWebsite

We combine sustained observations from a network of atmospheric monitoring stations with inverse modeling to uniquely obtain spatiotemporal (3-km, 4-day) estimates of methane emissions from the Los Angeles megacity and the broader South Coast Air Basin for 2015-2016. Our inversions use customized and validated high-fidelity meteorological output from Weather Research Forecasting and Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian model for South Coast Air Basin and innovatively employ a model resolution matrix-based metric to disentangle the spatiotemporal information content of observations as manifested through estimated fluxes. We partially track and constrain fluxes from the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak and detect closure of the Puente Hills landfill, with no prior information. Our annually aggregated fluxes and their uncertainty excluding the Aliso Canyon leak period lie within the uncertainty bounds of the fluxes reported by the previous studies. Spatially, major sources of CH4 emissions in the basin were correlated with CH4-emitting infrastructure. Temporally, our findings show large seasonal variations in CH4 fluxes with significantly higher fluxes in winter in comparison to summer months, which is consistent with natural gas demand and anticorrelated with air temperature. Overall, this is the first study that utilizes inversions to detect both enhancement (Aliso Canyon leak) and reduction (Puente Hills) in CH4 fluxes due to the unintended events and policy decisions and thereby demonstrates the utility of inverse modeling for identifying variations in fluxes at fine spatiotemporal resolution.

Fang, XK, Park S, Saito T, Tunnicliffe R, Ganesan AL, Rigby M, Li SL, Yokouchi Y, Fraser PJ, Harth CM, Krummel PB, Muhle J, O'Doherty S, Salameh PK, Simmonds PG, Weiss RF, Young D, Lunt MF, Manning AJ, Gressentl A, Prinn RG.  2019.  Rapid increase in ozone-depleting chloroform emissions from China. Nature Geoscience. 12:89-+.   10.1038/s41561-018-0278-2   AbstractWebsite

Chloroform contributes to the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer. However, due to its short lifetime and predominantly natural sources, it is not included in the Montreal Protocol that regulates the production and uses of ozone-depleting substances. Atmospheric chloroform mole fractions were relatively stable or slowly decreased during 1990-2010. Here we show that global chloroform mole fractions increased after 2010, based on in situ chloroform measurements at seven stations around the world. We estimate that the global chloroform emissions grew at the rate of 3.5% yr(-1) between 2010 and 2015 based on atmospheric model simulations. We used two regional inverse modelling approaches, combined with observations from East Asia, to show that emissions from eastern China grew by 49 (41-59) Gg between 2010 and 2015, a change that could explain the entire increase in global emissions. We suggest that if chloroform emissions continuously grow at the current rate, the recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer above Antarctica could be delayed by several years.

2018
Reimann, S, Elkins JW, Fraser PJ, Hall BD, Kurylo MJ, Mahieu E, Montzka SA, Prinn RG, Rigby M, Simmonds PG, Weiss RF.  2018.  Observing the atmospheric evolution of ozone-depleting substances. Comptes Rendus Geoscience. 350:384-392.   10.1016/j.crte.2018.08.008   AbstractWebsite

The atmospheric observations of ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) have been essential for following their atmospheric response to the production and use restrictions imposed by the Montreal Protocol and its Amendments and Adjustments. ODSs have been used since the first half of the 20th century in industrial and domestic applications. However, their atmospheric growth went unnoticed until the early 1970s, when they were discovered using gas chromatograph-electron capture detection (GC-ECD) instruments. Similar instrumentation formed the basis of global flask and in situ measurements commenced by NOAA and ALE/GAGE/AGAGE in the late 1970s. The combination of these networks, supported by a number of other laboratories, has been essential for following the tropospheric trends of ODSs. Additionally, ground-based remote sensing measurements within NDACC and aircraft-based observation programs have been crucial for measuring the evolution of the ODS abundances over the entire atmosphere. Maintaining these networks at least at their current state is vital for ensuring the on-going verification of the success of the Montreal Protocol. (C) 2018 Academie des sciences. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

Lunt, MF, Park S, Li S, Henne S, Manning AJ, Ganesan AL, Simpson IJ, Blake DR, Liang Q, O'Doherty S, Harth CM, Mühle J, Salameh PK, Weiss RF, Krummel PB, Fraser PJ, Prinn RG, Reimann S, Rigby M.  2018.  Continued emissions of the ozone-depleting substance carbon tetrachloride from Eastern Asia. Geophysical Research Letters. : Wiley-Blackwell   10.1029/2018GL079500   Abstract

Abstract Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) is an ozone-depleting substance, accounting for about 10% of the chlorine in the troposphere. Under the terms of the Montreal Protocol, its production for dispersive uses was banned from 2010. In this work we show that, despite the controls on production being introduced, CCl4 emissions from the eastern part of China did not decline between 2009 and 2016. This finding is in contrast to a recent bottom-up estimate, which predicted a significant decrease in emissions after the introduction of production controls. We find eastern Asian emissions of CCl4 to be 16 (9?24) Gg/year on average between 2009 and 2016, with the primary source regions being in eastern China. The spatial distribution of emissions that we derive suggests that the source distribution of CCl4 in China changed during the 8-year study period, indicating a new source or sources of emissions from China's Shandong province after 2012.

Prinn, RG, Weiss RF, Arduini J, Arnold T, DeWitt HL, Fraser PJ, Ganesan AL, Gasore J, Harth CM, Hermansen O, Kim J, Krummel PB, Li SL, Loh ZM, Lunder CR, Maione M, Manning AJ, Miller B, Mitrevski B, Muhle J, O'Doherty S, Park S, Reimann S, Rigby M, Saito T, Salameh PK, Schmidt R, Simmonds PG, Steele LP, Vollmer MK, Wang RH, Yao B, Yokouchi Y, Young D, Zhou LX.  2018.  History of chemically and radiatively important atmospheric gases from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE). Earth System Science Data. 10:985-1018.   10.5194/essd-10-985-2018   AbstractWebsite

We present the organization, instrumentation, datasets, data interpretation, modeling, and accomplishments of the multinational global atmospheric measurement program AGAGE (Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment). AGAGE is distinguished by its capability to measure globally, at high frequency, and at multiple sites all the important species in the Montreal Protocol and all the important non-carbon-dioxide (non-CO2) gases assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (CO2 is also measured at several sites). The scientific objectives of AGAGE are important in furthering our understanding of global chemical and climatic phenomena. They are the following: (1) to accurately measure the temporal and spatial distributions of anthropogenic gases that contribute the majority of reactive halogen to the stratosphere and/or are strong infrared absorbers (chlorocarbons, chlorofluorocarbons CFCs, bromocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons HCFCs, hydrofluorocarbons HFCs and polyfluorinated compounds (perfluorocarbons PFCs), nitrogen trifluoride NF3, sulfuryl fluoride SO2F2, and sulfur hexafluoride SF6) and use these measurements to determine the global rates of their emission and/or destruction (i.e., lifetimes); (2) to accurately measure the global distributions and temporal behaviors and determine the sources and sinks of non-CO2 biogenic anthropogenic gases important to climate change and/or ozone depletion (methane CH4, nitrous oxide N20, carbon monoxide CO, molecular hydrogen H2, methyl chloride CH3C1, and methyl bromide CH3Br); (3) to identify new long-lived greenhouse and ozone -depleting gases (e.g., SO2F2, NF3, heavy PFCs (C4Fm, C5F12, C6F 14, C7F16, and C8F18) and hydrofluoroolefins (HF0s; e.g., CH2 = CFCF3) have been identified in AGAGE), initiate the real-time monitoring of these new gases, and reconstruct their past histories from AGAGE, air archive, and firn air measurements; (4) to determine the average concentrations and trends of tropospheric hydroxyl radicals (OH) from the rates of destruction of atmospheric trichloroethane (CH3CC13), HFCs, and HCFCs and estimates of their emissions; (5) to determine from atmospheric observations and estimates of their destruction rates the magnitudes and distributions by region of surface sources and sinks of all measured gases; (6) to provide accurate data on the global accumulation of many of these trace gases that are used to test the synoptic-, regional-, and global -scale circulations predicted by three-dimensional models; and (7) to provide global and regional measurements of methane, carbon monoxide, and molecular hydrogen and estimates of hydroxyl levels to test primary atmospheric oxidation pathways at midlatitudes and the tropics. Network Information and Data Repository: http://agage.mit.edu/data or http://cdiac.ess-dive.lbl.gov/ndps/alegage.html (https://doi.org/10.3334/CDIAC/atg.db1001).

Li, S, Park S, Lee JY, Ha KJ, Park MK, Jo CO, Oh H, Mühle J, Kim KR, Montzka SA, O’Doherty S, Krummel PB, Atlas E, Miller BR, Moore F, Weiss RF, Wofsy SC.  2018.  Chemical evidence of inter-hemispheric air mass intrusion into the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes. Scientific Reports. 8:4669.   10.1038/s41598-018-22266-0   AbstractWebsite

The East Asian Summer Monsoon driven by temperature and moisture gradients between the Asian continent and the Pacific Ocean, leads to approximately 50% of the annual rainfall in the region across 20–40°N. Due to its increasing scientific and social importance, there have been several previous studies on identification of moisture sources for summer monsoon rainfall over East Asia mainly using Lagrangian or Eulerian atmospheric water vapor models. The major source regions for EASM previously proposed include the North Indian Ocean, South China Sea and North western Pacific. Based on high-precision and high-frequency 6-year measurement records of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), here we report a direct evidence of rapid intrusion of warm and moist tropical air mass from the Southern Hemisphere (SH) reaching within a couple of days up to 33°N into East Asia. We further suggest that the combination of direct chemical tracer record and a back-trajectory model with physical meteorological variables helps pave the way to identify moisture sources for monsoon rainfall. A case study for Gosan station (33.25°N, 126.19°E) indicates that the meridional transport of precipitable water from the SH accompanying the southerly/southwesterly flow contributes most significantly to its summer rainfall.

Simmonds, PG, Rigby M, McCulloch A, Vollmer MK, Henne S, Muhle J, O'Doherty S, Manning AJ, Krummel PB, Fraser PJ, Young D, Weiss RF, Salameh PK, Harth CM, Reimann S, Trudinger CM, Steele LP, Wang RHJ, Ivy DJ, Prinn RG, Mitrevski B, Etheridge DM.  2018.  Recent increases in the atmospheric growth rate and emissions of HFC-23 (CHF3) and the link to HCFC-22 (CHClF2) production. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 18:4153-4169.   10.5194/acp-18-4153-2018   AbstractWebsite

High frequency measurements of trifluoromethane (HFC-23, CHF3), a potent hydrofluorocarbon greenhouse gas, largely emitted to the atmosphere as a by-product of the production of the hydrochlorofluorocarbon HCFC-22 (CHClF2), at five core stations of the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) network, combined with measurements on firn air, old Northern Hemisphere air samples and Cape Grim Air Archive (CGAA) air samples, are used to explore the current and historic changes in the atmospheric abundance of HFC-23. These measurements are used in combination with the AGAGE 2-D atmospheric 12-box model and a Bayesian inversion methodology to determine model atmospheric mole fractions and the history of global HFC-23 emissions. The global modelled annual mole fraction of HFC-23 in the background atmosphere was 28.9 +/- 0.6 pmol mol(-1) at the end of 2016, representing a 28% increase from 22.6 +/- 0.4 pmol mol(-1) in 2009. Over the same time frame, the modelled mole fraction of HCFC-22 increased by 19% from 199 +/- 2 to 237 +/- 2 pmol mol(-1). However, unlike HFC-23, the annual average HCFC-22 growth rate slowed from 2009 to 2016 at an annual average rate of -0.5 pmol mol(-1) yr(-2). This slowing atmospheric growth is consistent with HCFC-22 moving from dispersive (high fractional emissions) to feedstock (low fractional emissions) uses, with HFC-23 emissions remaining as a consequence of incomplete mitigation from all HCFC-22 production. Our results demonstrate that, following a minimum in HFC-23 global emissions in 2009 of 9.6 +/- 0.6, emissions increased to a maximum in 2014 of 14.5 +/- 0.6 Gg yr(-1) and then declined to 12.7 +/- 0.6 Gg yr(-1) (157 MtCO(2) eq.yr(-1)) in 2016. The 2009 emissions minimum is consistent with estimates based on national reports and is likely a response to the implementation of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to mitigate HFC-23 emissions by incineration in developing (non-Annex 1) countries under the Kyoto Protocol. Our derived cumulative emissions of HFC-23 during 20102016 were 89 +/- 2 Gg (1.1 +/- 0.2 GtCO(2) eq.), which led to an increase in radiative forcing of 1.0 +/- 0.1mWm(-2) over the same period. Although the CDM had reduced global HFC-23 emissions, it cannot now offset the higher emissions from increasing HCFC-22 production in non-Annex 1 countries, as the CDM was closed to new entrants in 2009. We also find that the cumulative European HFC-23 emissions from 2010 to 2016 were similar to 1.3 Gg, corresponding to just 1.5% of cumulative global HFC-23 emissions over this same period. The majority of the increase in global HFC-23 emissions since 2010 is attributed to a delay in the adoption of mitigation technologies, predominantly in China and East Asia. However, a reduction in emissions is anticipated, when the Kigali 2016 amendment to the Montreal Protocol, requiring HCFC and HFC production facilities to introduce destruction of HFC-23, is fully implemented.

Vollmer, MK, Young D, Trudinger CM, Muhle J, Henne S, Rigby M, Park S, Li S, Guillevic M, Mitrevski B, Harth CM, Miller BR, Reimann S, Yao B, Steele LP, Wyss SA, Lunder CR, Arduini J, McCulloch A, Wu S, Rhee TS, Wang RHJ, Salameh PK, Hermansen O, Hill M, Langenfelds RL, Ivy D, O'Doherty S, Krummel PB, Maione M, Etheridge DM, Zhou LX, Fraser PJ, Prinn RG, Weiss RF, Simmonds PG.  2018.  Atmospheric histories and emissions of chlorofluorocarbons CFC-13 (CClF3), Sigma CFC-114 (C2Cl2F4), and CFC-115 (C2ClF5). Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 18:979-1002.   10.5194/acp-18-979-2018   AbstractWebsite

Based on observations of the chlorofluorocarbons CFC-13 (chlorotrifluoromethane), Sigma CFC-114 (combined measurement of both isomers of dichlorotetrafluoroethane), and CFC-115 (chloropentafluoroethane) in atmospheric and firn samples, we reconstruct records of their tropospheric histories spanning nearly 8 decades. These compounds were measured in polar firn air samples, in ambient air archived in canisters, and in situ at the AGAGE (Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment) network and affiliated sites. Global emissions to the atmosphere are derived from these observations using an inversion based on a 12-box atmospheric transport model. For CFC-13, we provide the first comprehensive global analysis. This compound increased monotonically from its first appearance in the atmosphere in the late 1950s to a mean global abundance of 3.18 ppt (dry-air mole fraction in parts per trillion, pmol mol(-1)) in 2016. Its growth rate has decreased since the mid-1980s but has remained at a surprisingly high mean level of 0.02 ppt yr(-1) since 2000, resulting in a continuing growth of CFC-13 in the atmosphere. Sigma CFC-114 increased from its appearance in the 1950s to a maximum of 16.6 ppt in the early 2000s and has since slightly declined to 16.3 ppt in 2016. CFC-115 increased monotonically from its first appearance in the 1960s and reached a global mean mole fraction of 8.49 ppt in 2016. Growth rates of all three compounds over the past years are significantly larger than would be expected from zero emissions. Under the assumption of unchanging lifetimes and atmospheric transport patterns, we derive global emissions from our measurements, which have remained unexpectedly high in recent years: mean yearly emissions for the last decade (2007-2016) of CFC-13 are at 0.48 +/- 0.15 kt yr(-1) (> 15% of past peak emissions), of 6 CFC-114 at 1.90 +/- 0.84 kt yr(-1) (similar to 10% of peak emissions), and of CFC-115 at 0.80 +/- 0.50 kt yr(-1) (> 5% of peak emissions). Mean yearly emissions of CFC-115 for 2015-2016 are 1.14 +/- 0.50 kt yr(-1) and have doubled compared to the 2007-2010 minimum. We find CFC-13 emissions from aluminum smelters but if extrapolated to global emissions, they cannot account for the lingering global emissions determined from the atmospheric observations. We find impurities of CFC-115 in the refrigerant HFC-125 (CHF2CF3) but if extrapolated to global emissions, they can neither account for the lingering global CFC-115 emissions determined from the atmospheric observations nor for their recent increases. We also conduct regional inversions for the years 2012-2016 for the northeastern Asian area using observations from the Korean AGAGE site at Gosan and find significant emissions for Sigma CFC-114 and CFC-115, suggesting that a large fraction of their global emissions currently occur in northeastern Asia and more specifically on the Chinese mainland.

Wells, KC, Millet DB, Bousserez N, Henze DK, Griffis TJ, Chaliyakunnel S, Dlugokencky EJ, Saikawa E, Xiang G, Prinn RG, O'Doherty S, Young D, Weiss RF, Dutton GS, Elkins JW, Krummel PB, Langenfelds R, Steele LP.  2018.  Top-down constraints on global N2O emissions at optimal resolution: application of a new dimension reduction technique. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 18:735-756.   10.5194/acp-18-735-2018   AbstractWebsite

We present top-down constraints on global monthly N2O emissions for 2011 from a multi-inversion approach and an ensemble of surface observations. The inversions employ the GEOS-Chem adjoint and an array of aggregation strategies to test how well current observations can constrain the spatial distribution of global N2O emissions. The strategies include (1) a standard 4D-Var inversion at native model resolution (4 degrees x 5 degrees), (2) an inversion for six continental and three ocean regions, and (3) a fast 4D-Var inversion based on a novel dimension reduction technique employing randomized singular value decomposition (SVD). The optimized global flux ranges from 15.9 TgNyr(-1) (SVD-based inversion) to 17.5-17.7 TgNyr(-1) (continental-scale, standard 4D-Var inversions), with the former better capturing the extratropical N2O background measured during the HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO) airborne campaigns. We find that the tropics provide a greater contribution to the global N2O flux than is predicted by the prior bottom-up inventories, likely due to underestimated agricultural and oceanic emissions. We infer an overestimate of natural soil emissions in the extratropics and find that predicted emissions are seasonally biased in northern midlatitudes. Here, optimized fluxes exhibit a springtime peak consistent with the timing of spring fertilizer and manure application, soil thawing, and elevated soil moisture. Finally, the inversions reveal a major emission underestimate in the US Corn Belt in the bottom-up inventory used here. We extensively test the impact of initial conditions on the analysis and recommend formally optimizing the initial N2O distribution to avoid biasing the inferred fluxes. We find that the SVD-based approach provides a powerful framework for deriving emission information from N2O observations: by defining the optimal resolution of the solution based on the information content of the inversion, it provides spatial information that is lost when aggregating to political or geographic regions, while also providing more temporal information than a standard 4D-Var inversion.

2017
Liang, Q, Chipperfield MP, Fleming EL, Abraham LN, Braesicke P, Burkholder JB, Daniel JS, Dhomse S, Fraser PJ, Hardiman SC, Jackman CH, Kinnison DE, Krummel PB, Montzka SA, Morgenstern O, McCulloch A, Mühle J, Newman PA, Orkin VL, Pitari G, Prinn RG, Rigby M, Rozanov E, Stenke A, Tummon F, Velders GJM, Visioni D, Weiss RF.  2017.  Deriving Global OH Abundance and Atmospheric Lifetimes for Long-Lived Gases: A Search for CH3CCl3 Alternatives. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. 122:11,914-11,933.   10.1002/2017JD026926   Abstract

An accurate estimate of global hydroxyl radical (OH) abundance is important for projections of air quality, climate, and stratospheric ozone recovery. As the atmospheric mixing ratios of methyl chloroform (CH3CCl3) (MCF), the commonly used OH reference gas, approaches zero, it is important to find alternative approaches to infer atmospheric OH abundance and variability. The lack of global bottom-up emission inventories is the primary obstacle in choosing a MCF alternative. We illustrate that global emissions of long-lived trace gases can be inferred from their observed mixing ratio differences between the Northern Hemisphere (NH) and Southern Hemisphere (SH), given realistic estimates of their NH-SH exchange time, the emission partitioning between the two hemispheres, and the NH versus SH OH abundance ratio. Using the observed long-term trend and emissions derived from the measured hemispheric gradient, the combination of HFC-32 (CH2F2), HFC-134a (CH2FCF3, HFC-152a (CH3CHF2), and HCFC-22 (CHClF2), instead of a single gas, will be useful as a MCF alternative to infer global and hemispheric OH abundance and trace gas lifetimes. The primary assumption on which this multispecies approach relies is that the OH lifetimes can be estimated by scaling the thermal reaction rates of a reference gas at 272 K on global and hemispheric scales. Thus, the derived hemispheric and global OH estimates are forced to reconcile the observed trends and gradient for all four compounds simultaneously. However, currently, observations of these gases from the surface networks do not provide more accurate OH abundance estimate than that from MCF.

Saunois, M, Bousquet P, Poulter B, Peregon A, Ciais P, Canadell JG, Dlugokencky EJ, Etiope G, Bastviken D, Houweling S, Janssens-Maenhout G, Tubiello FN, Castaldi S, Jackson RB, Alexe M, Arora VK, Beerling DJ, Bergamaschi P, Blake DR, Brailsford G, Bruhwiler L, Crevoisier C, Crill P, Covey K, Frankenberg C, Gedney N, Hoglund-Isaksson L, Ishizawa M, Ito A, Joos F, Kim HS, Kleinen T, Krummel P, Lamarque JF, Langenfelds R, Locatelli R, Machida T, Maksyutov S, Melton JR, Morino I, Naik V, O'Doherty S, Parmentier FJ, Patra PK, Peng CH, Peng SS, Peters GP, Pison I, Prinn R, Ramonet M, Riley WJ, Saito M, Santini M, Schroeder R, Simpson IJ, Spahni R, Takizawa A, Thornton BF, Tian HQ, Tohjima Y, Viovy N, Voulgarakis A, Weiss R, Wilton DJ, Wiltshire A, Worthy D, Wunch D, Xu XY, Yoshida Y, Zhang BW, Zhang Z, Zhu QA.  2017.  Variability and quasi-decadal changes in the methane budget over the period 2000-2012. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 17:11135-11161.   10.5194/acp-17-11135-2017   AbstractWebsite

Following the recent Global Carbon Project (GCP) synthesis of the decadal methane (CH4) budget over 2000-2012 (Saunois et al., 2016), we analyse here the same dataset with a focus on quasi-decadal and inter-annual variability in CH4 emissions. The GCP dataset integrates results from top-down studies (exploiting atmospheric observations within an atmospheric inverse-modelling framework) and bottom-up models (including process-based models for estimating land surface emissions and atmospheric chemistry), inventories of anthropogenic emissions, and data-driven approaches. The annual global methane emissions from top-down studies, which by construction match the observed methane growth rate within their uncertainties, all show an increase in total methane emissions over the period 2000-2012, but this increase is not linear over the 13 years. Despite differences between individual studies, the mean emission anomaly of the top-down ensemble shows no significant trend in total methane emissions over the period 2000-2006, during the plateau of atmospheric methane mole fractions, and also over the period 2008-2012, during the renewed atmospheric methane increase. However, the top-down ensemble mean produces an emission shift between 2006 and 2008, leading to 22 [16-32] Tg CH4 yr(-1) higher methane emissions over the period 2008-2012 compared to 2002-2006. This emission increase mostly originated from the tropics, with a smaller contribution from mid-latitudes and no significant change from boreal regions. The regional contributions remain uncertain in top-down studies. Tropical South America and South and East Asia seem to contribute the most to the emission increase in the tropics. However, these two regions have only limited atmospheric measurements and remain therefore poorly constrained. The sectorial partitioning of this emission increase between the periods 2002-2006 and 2008-2012 differs from one atmospheric inversion study to another. However, all top-down studies suggest smaller changes in fossil fuel emissions (from oil, gas, and coal industries) compared to the mean of the bottom-up inventories included in this study. This difference is partly driven by a smaller emission change in China from the top-down studies compared to the estimate in the Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGARv4.2) inventory, which should be revised to smaller values in a near future. We apply isotopic signatures to the emission changes estimated for individual studies based on five emission sectors and find that for six individual top-down studies (out of eight) the average isotopic signature of the emission changes is not consistent with the observed change in atmospheric (CH4)-C-13. However, the partitioning in emission change derived from the ensemble mean is consistent with this isotopic constraint. At the global scale, the top-down ensemble mean suggests that the dominant contribution to the resumed atmospheric CH4 growth after 2006 comes from microbial sources (more from agriculture and waste sectors than from natural wetlands), with an uncertain but smaller contribution from fossil CH4 emissions. In addition, a decrease in biomass burning emissions (in agreement with the biomass burning emission databases) makes the balance of sources consistent with atmospheric (CH4)-C-13 observations. In most of the top-down studies included here, OH concentrations are considered constant over the years (seasonal variations but without any inter-annual variability). As a result, the methane loss (in particular through OH oxidation) varies mainly through the change in methane concentrations and not its oxidants. For these reasons, changes in the methane loss could not be properly investigated in this study, although it may play a significant role in the recent atmospheric methane changes as briefly discussed at the end of the paper.

Verhulst, KR, Karion A, Kim J, Salameh PK, Keeling RF, Newman S, Miller J, Sloop C, Pongetti T, Rao P, Wong C, Hopkins FM, Yadav V, Weiss RF, Duren RM, Miller CE.  2017.  Carbon dioxide and methane measurements from the Los Angeles Megacity Carbon Project - Part 1: calibration, urban enhancements, and uncertainty estimates. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 17:8313-8341.   10.5194/acp-17-8313-2017   AbstractWebsite

We report continuous surface observations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) from the Los Angeles (LA) Megacity Carbon Project during 2015. We devised a calibration strategy, methods for selection of background air masses, calculation of urban enhancements, and a detailed algorithm for estimating uncertainties in urban-scale CO2 and CH4 measurements. These methods are essential for understanding carbon fluxes from the LA megacity and other complex urban environments globally. We estimate background mole fractions entering LA using observations from four "extra-urban" sites including two "marine" sites located south of LA in La Jolla (LJO) and offshore on San Clemente Island (SCI), one "continental" site located in Victorville (VIC), in the high desert northeast of LA, and one "continental/mid-troposphere" site located on Mount Wilson (MWO) in the San Gabriel Mountains. We find that a local marine background can be established to within similar to 1 ppm CO2 and similar to 10 ppb CH4 using these local measurement sites. Overall, atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane levels are highly variable across Los Angeles. "Urban" and "suburban" sites show moderate to large CO2 and CH4 enhancements relative to a marine background estimate. The USC (University of Southern California) site near downtown LA exhibits median hourly enhancements of similar to 20 ppm CO2 and similar to 150 ppb CH4 during 2015 as well as similar to 15 ppm CO2 and similar to 80 ppb CH4 during mid-afternoon hours (12:00-16:00 LT, local time), which is the typical period of focus for flux inversions. The estimated measurement uncertainty is typically better than 0.1 ppm CO2 and 1 ppb CH4 based on the repeated standard gas measurements from the LA sites during the last 2 years, similar to Andrews et al. (2014). The largest component of the measurement uncertainty is due to the single-point calibration method; however, the uncertainty in the background mole fraction is much larger than the measurement uncertainty. The background uncertainty for the marine background estimate is similar to 10 and similar to 15% of the median mid-afternoon enhancement near downtown LA for CO2 and CH4, respectively. Overall, analytical and background uncertainties are small relative to the local CO2 and CH4 enhancements; however, our results suggest that reducing the uncertainty to less than 5% of the median mid-afternoon enhancement will require detailed assessment of the impact of meteorology on background conditions.

Simmonds, PG, Rigby M, McCulloch A, O'Doherty S, Young D, Mühle J, Krummel PB, Steele P, Fraser PJ, Manning AJ, Weiss RF, Salameh PK, Harth CM, Wang RHJ, Prinn RG.  2017.  Changing trends and emissions of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and their hydrofluorocarbon (HFCs) replacements. Atmos. Chem. Phys.. 17:4641-4655.: Copernicus Publications   10.5194/acp-17-4641-2017   Abstract

High-frequency, in situ global observations of HCFC-22 (CHClF2), HCFC-141b (CH3CCl2F), HCFC-142b (CH3CClF2) and HCFC-124 (CHClFCF3) and their main HFC replacements, HFC-134a (CH2FCF3), HFC-125 (CHF2CF3), HFC-143a (CH3CF3) and HFC-32 (CH2F2), have been used to determine their changing global growth rates and emissions in response to the Montreal Protocol and its recent amendments. Global mean mole fractions of HCFC-22, -141b, and -142b have increased throughout the observation period, reaching 234, 24.3 and 22.4 pmol mol−1, respectively, in 2015. HCFC-124 reached a maximum global mean mole fraction of 1.48 pmol mol−1 in 2007 and has since declined by 23 % to 1.14 pmol mol−1 in 2015. The HFCs all show increasing global mean mole fractions. In 2015 the global mean mole fractions (pmol mol−1) were 83.3 (HFC-134a), 18.4 (HFC-125), 17.7 (HFC-143a) and 10.5 (HFC-32).The 2007 adjustment to the Montreal Protocol required the accelerated phase-out of emissive uses of HCFCs with global production and consumption capped in 2013 to mitigate their environmental impact as both ozone-depleting substances and important greenhouse gases. We find that this change has coincided with a stabilisation, or moderate reduction, in global emissions of the four HCFCs with aggregated global emissions in 2015 of 449 ± 75 Gg yr−1, in CO2 equivalent units (CO2 eq.) 0.76 ± 0.1 Gt yr−1, compared with 483 ± 70 Gg yr−1 (0.82 ± 0.1 Gt yr−1 CO2 eq.) in 2010 (uncertainties are 1σ throughout this paper). About 79 % of the total HCFC atmospheric burden in 2015 is HCFC-22, where global emissions appear to have been relatively similar since 2011, in spite of the 2013 cap on emissive uses. We attribute this to a probable increase in production and consumption of HCFC-22 in Montreal Protocol Article 5 (developing) countries and the continuing release of HCFC-22 from the large banks which dominate HCFC global emissions. Conversely, the four HFCs all show increasing mole fraction growth rates with aggregated global HFC emissions of 327 ± 70 Gg yr−1 (0.65 ± 0.12 Gt yr−1 CO2 eq.) in 2015 compared to 240 ± 50 Gg yr−1 (0.47 ± 0.08 Gt yr−1 CO2 eq.) in 2010. We also note that emissions of HFC-125 and HFC-32 appear to have increased more rapidly averaged over the 5-year period 2011–2015, compared to 2006–2010. As noted by Lunt et al. (2015) this may reflect a change to refrigerant blends, such as R-410A, which contain HFC-32 and -125 as a 50 : 50 blend.

Rigby, M, Montzka SA, Prinn RG, White JWC, Young D, O’Doherty S, Lunt MF, Ganesan AL, Manning AJ, Simmonds PG, Salameh PK, Harth CM, Mühle J, Weiss RF, Fraser PJ, Steele PL, Krummel PB, McCulloch A, Park S.  2017.  Role of atmospheric oxidation in recent methane growth. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.   10.1073/pnas.1616426114   Abstract

The growth in global methane (CH4) concentration, which had been ongoing since the industrial revolution, stalled around the year 2000 before resuming globally in 2007. We evaluate the role of the hydroxyl radical (OH), the major CH4 sink, in the recent CH4 growth. We also examine the influence of systematic uncertainties in OH concentrations on CH4 emissions inferred from atmospheric observations. We use observations of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (CH3CCl3), which is lost primarily through reaction with OH, to estimate OH levels as well as CH3CC3 emissions, which have uncertainty that previously limited the accuracy of OH estimates. We find a 64–70% probability that a decline in OH has contributed to the post-2007 methane rise. Our median solution suggests that CH4 emissions increased relatively steadily during the late 1990s and early 2000s, after which growth was more modest. This solution obviates the need for a sudden statistically significant change in total CH4 emissions around the year 2007 to explain the atmospheric observations and can explain some of the decline in the atmospheric 13CH4/12CH4 ratio and the recent growth in C2H6. Our approach indicates that significant OH-related uncertainties in the CH4 budget remain, and we find that it is not possible to implicate, with a high degree of confidence, rapid global CH4 emissions changes as the primary driver of recent trends when our inferred OH trends and these uncertainties are considered.

2016
Simmonds, PG, Rigby M, Manning AJ, Lunt MF, O'Doherty S, McCulloch A, Fraser PJ, Henne S, Vollmer MK, Muhle J, Weiss RF, Salameh PK, Young D, Reimann S, Wenger A, Arnold T, Harth CM, Krummel PB, Steele LP, Dunse BL, Miller BR, Lunder CR, Hermansen O, Schmidbauer N, Saito T, Yokouchi Y, Park S, Li S, Yao B, Zhou LX, Arduini J, Maione M, Wang RHJ, Ivy D, Prinn RG.  2016.  Global and regional emissions estimates of 1,1-difluoroethane (HFC-152a, CH3CHF2) from in situ and air archive observations. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 16:365-382.   10.5194/acp-16-365-2016   AbstractWebsite

High frequency, in situ observations from 11 globally distributed sites for the period 1994-2014 and archived air measurements dating from 1978 onward have been used to determine the global growth rate of 1,1-difluoroethane (HFC-152a, CH3CHF2). These observations have been combined with a range of atmospheric transport models to derive global emission estimates in a top-down approach. HFC-152a is a greenhouse gas with a short atmospheric lifetime of about 1.5 years. Since it does not contain chlorine or bromine, HFC-152a makes no direct contribution to the destruction of stratospheric ozone and is therefore used as a substitute for the ozone de- pleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The concentration of HFC-152a has grown substantially since the first direct measurements in 1994, reaching a maximum annual global growth rate of 0.84 +/- 0.05 ppt yr(-1) in 2006, implying a substantial increase in emissions up to 2006. However, since 2007, the annual rate of growth has slowed to 0.38 +/- 0.04 ppt yr(-1) in 2010 with a further decline to an annual average rate of growth in 2013-2014 of -0.06 +/- 0.05 ppt yr(-1). The annual average Northern Hemisphere (NH) mole fraction in 1994 was 1.2 ppt rising to an annual average mole fraction of 10.1 ppt in 2014. Average annual mole fractions in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) in 1998 and 2014 were 0.84 and 4.5 ppt, respectively. We estimate global emissions of HFC-152a have risen from 7.3 +/- 5.6 Gg yr(-1) in 1994 to a maximum of 54.4 +/- 17.1 Gg yr(-1) in 2011, declining to 52.5 +/- 20.1 Gg yr(-1) in 2014 or 7.2 +/- 2.8 Tg-CO2 eq yr(-1). Analysis of mole fraction enhancements above regional background atmospheric levels suggests substantial emissions from North America, Asia, and Europe. Global HFC emissions (so called "bottom up" emissions) reported by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are based on cumulative national emission data reported to the UNFCCC, which in turn are based on national consumption data. There appears to be a significant underestimate (> 20 Gg) of "bottom-up" reported emissions of HFC-152a, possibly arising from largely underestimated USA emissions and undeclared Asian emissions.

Saunois, M, Bousquet P, Poulter B, Peregon A, Ciais P, Canadell JG, Dlugokencky EJ, Etiope G, Bastviken D, Houweling S, Janssens-Maenhout G, Tubiello FN, Castaldi S, Jackson RB, Alexe M, Arora VK, Beerling DJ, Bergamaschi P, Blake DR, Brailsford G, Brovkin V, Bruhwiler L, Crevoisier C, Crill P, Covey K, Curry C, Frankenberg C, Gedney N, Hoglund-Isaksson L, Ishizawa M, Ito A, Joos F, Kim HS, Kleinen T, Krummel P, Lamarque JF, Langenfelds R, Locatelli R, Machida T, Maksyutov S, McDonald KC, Marshall J, Melton JR, Morino I, Naik V, O'Doherty S, Parmentier FJW, Patra PK, Peng CH, Peng SS, Peters GP, Pison I, Prigent C, Prinn R, Ramonet M, Riley WJ, Saito M, Santini M, Schroeder R, Simpson IJ, Spahni R, Steele P, Takizawa A, Thornton BF, Tian HQ, Tohjima Y, Viovy N, Voulgarakis A, van Weele M, van der Werf GR, Weiss R, Wiedinmyer C, Wilton DJ, Wiltshire A, Worthy D, Wunch D, Xu XY, Yoshida Y, Zhang B, Zhang Z, Zhu Q.  2016.  The global methane budget 2000-2012. Earth System Science Data. 8:697-751.   10.5194/essd-8-697-2016   AbstractWebsite

The global methane (CH4) budget is becoming an increasingly important component for managing realistic pathways to mitigate climate change. This relevance, due to a shorter atmospheric lifetime and a stronger warming potential than carbon dioxide, is challenged by the still unexplained changes of atmospheric CH4 over the past decade. Emissions and concentrations of CH4 are continuing to increase, making CH4 the second most important human-induced greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. Two major difficulties in reducing uncertainties come from the large variety of diffusive CH4 sources that overlap geographically, and from the destruction of CH4 by the very short-lived hydroxyl radical (OH). To address these difficulties, we have established a consortium of multi-disciplinary scientists under the umbrella of the Global Carbon Project to synthesize and stimulate research on the methane cycle, and producing regular (similar to biennial) updates of the global methane budget. This consortium includes atmospheric physicists and chemists, biogeochemists of surface and marine emissions, and socio-economists who study anthropogenic emissions. Following Kirschke et al. (2013), we propose here the first version of a living review paper that integrates results of top-down studies (exploiting atmospheric observations within an atmospheric inverse-modelling framework) and bottom-up models, inventories and data-driven approaches (including process-based models for estimating land surface emissions and atmospheric chemistry, and inventories for anthropogenic emissions, data-driven extrapolations). For the 2003-2012 decade, global methane emissions are estimated by top-down inversions at 558 TgCH(4) yr(-1), range 540-568. About 60% of global emissions are anthropogenic (range 50-65 %). Since 2010, the bottom-up global emission inventories have been closer to methane emissions in the most carbon-intensive Representative Concentrations Pathway (RCP8.5) and higher than all other RCP scenarios. Bottom-up approaches suggest larger global emissions (736 TgCH(4) yr(-1), range 596-884) mostly because of larger natural emissions from individual sources such as inland waters, natural wetlands and geological sources. Considering the atmospheric constraints on the top-down budget, it is likely that some of the individual emissions reported by the bottom-up approaches are overestimated, leading to too large global emissions. Latitudinal data from top-down emissions indicate a predominance of tropical emissions (similar to 64% of the global budget, <30 degrees N) as compared to mid (similar to 32 %, 30-60 degrees N) and high northern latitudes (similar to 4 %, 60-90 degrees N). Top-down inversions consistently infer lower emissions in China (similar to 58 TgCH(4) yr(-1), range 51-72, -14 %) and higher emissions in Africa (86 TgCH(4) yr(-1), range 73-108, + 19 %) than bottom-up values used as prior estimates. Overall, uncertainties for anthropogenic emissions appear smaller than those from natural sources, and the uncertainties on source categories appear larger for top-down inversions than for bottom-up inventories and models. The most important source of uncertainty on the methane budget is attributable to emissions from wetland and other inland waters. We show that the wetland extent could contribute 30-40% on the estimated range for wetland emissions. Other priorities for improving the methane budget include the following: (i) the development of process-based models for inland-water emissions, (ii) the intensification of methane observations at local scale (flux measurements) to constrain bottom-up land surface models, and at regional scale (surface networks and satellites) to constrain top-down inversions, (iii) improvements in the estimation of atmospheric loss by OH, and (iv) improvements of the transport models integrated in top-down inversions. The data presented here can be downloaded from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (http://doi.org/10.3334/CDIAC/GLOBAL_METHANE_BUDGET_2016_V1.1) and the Global Carbon Project.

Chipperfield, MP, Liang Q, Rigby M, Hossaini R, Montzka SA, Dhomse S, Feng WH, Prinn RG, Weiss RF, Harth CM, Salameh PK, Muhle J, O'Doherty S, Young D, Simmonds PG, Krummel PB, Fraser PJ, Steele LP, Happell JD, Rhew RC, Butler J, Yvon-Lewis SA, Hall B, Nance D, Moore F, Miller BR, Elkins J, Harrison JJ, Boone CD, Atlas EL, Mahieu E.  2016.  Model sensitivity studies of the decrease in atmospheric carbon tetrachloride. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 16:15741-15754.   10.5194/acp-16-15741-2016   AbstractWebsite

Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) is an ozone-depleting substance, which is controlled by the Montreal Protocol and for which the atmospheric abundance is decreasing. However, the current observed rate of this decrease is known to be slower than expected based on reported CCl4 emissions and its estimated overall atmospheric lifetime. Here we use a three-dimensional (3-D) chemical transport model to investigate the impact on its predicted decay of uncertainties in the rates at which CCl4 is removed from the atmosphere by photolysis, by ocean uptake and by degradation in soils. The largest sink is atmospheric photolysis (74% of total), but a reported 10% uncertainty in its combined photolysis cross section and quantum yield has only a modest impact on the modelled rate of CCl4 decay. This is partly due to the limiting effect of the rate of transport of CCl4 from the main tropospheric reservoir to the stratosphere, where photolytic loss occurs. The model suggests large interannual variability in the magnitude of this stratospheric photolysis sink caused by variations in transport. The impact of uncertainty in the minor soil sink (9% of total) is also relatively small. In contrast, the model shows that uncertainty in ocean loss (17% of total) has the largest impact on modelled CCl4 decay due to its sizeable contribution to CCl4 loss and large lifetime uncertainty range (147 to 241 years). With an assumed CCl4 emission rate of 39 Gg year(-1), the reference simulation with the best estimate of loss processes still underestimates the observed CCl4 (overestimates the decay) over the past 2 decades but to a smaller extent than previous studies. Changes to the rate of CCl4 loss processes, in line with known uncertainties, could bring the model into agreement with in situ surface and remote-sensing measurements, as could an increase in emissions to around 47 Gg year(-1). Further progress in constraining the CCl4 budget is partly limited by systematic biases between observational datasets. For example, surface observations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) network are larger than from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) network but have shown a steeper decreasing trend over the past 2 decades. These differences imply a difference in emissions which is significant relative to uncertainties in the magnitudes of the CCl4 sinks.

McNorton, J, Chipperfield MP, Gloor M, Wilson C, Feng WH, Hayman GD, Rigby M, Krummel PB, O'Doherty S, Prinn RG, Weiss RF, Young D, Dlugokencky E, Montzka SA.  2016.  Role of OH variability in the stalling of the global atmospheric CH4 growth rate from 1999 to 2006. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 16:7943-7956.   10.5194/acp-16-7943-2016   AbstractWebsite

The growth in atmospheric methane (CH4) concentrations over the past 2 decades has shown large variability on a timescale of several years. Prior to 1999 the globally averaged CH4 concentration was increasing at a rate of 6.0aEuro-ppbaEuro-yr(-1), but during a stagnation period from 1999 to 2006 this growth rate slowed to 0.6aEuro-ppbaEuro-yr(-1). From 2007 to 2009 the growth rate again increased to 4.9aEuro-ppbaEuro-yr(-1). These changes in growth rate are usually ascribed to variations in CH4 emissions. We have used a 3-D global chemical transport model, driven by meteorological reanalyses and variations in global mean hydroxyl (OH) concentrations derived from CH3CCl3 observations from two independent networks, to investigate these CH4 growth variations. The model shows that between 1999 and 2006 changes in the CH4 atmospheric loss contributed significantly to the suppression in global CH4 concentrations relative to the pre-1999 trend. The largest factor in this is relatively small variations in global mean OH on a timescale of a few years, with minor contributions of atmospheric transport of CH4 to its sink region and of atmospheric temperature. Although changes in emissions may be important during the stagnation period, these results imply a smaller variation is required to explain the observed CH4 trends. The contribution of OH variations to the renewed CH4 growth after 2007 cannot be determined with data currently available.

Dalsoren, SB, Myhre CL, Myhre G, Gomez-Pelaez AJ, Sovde OA, Isaksen ISA, Weiss RF, Harth CM.  2016.  Atmospheric methane evolution the last 40 years. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 16:3099-3126.   10.5194/acp-16-3099-2016   AbstractWebsite

Observations at surface sites show an increase in global mean surface methane (CH4) of about 180 parts per billion (ppb) (above 10 %) over the period 1984-2012. Over this period there are large fluctuations in the annual growth rate. In this work, we investigate the atmospheric CH4 evolution over the period 1970-2012 with the Oslo CTM3 global chemical transport model (CTM) in a bottom-up approach. We thoroughly assess data from surface measurement sites in international networks and select a subset suited for comparisons with the output from the CTM. We compare model results and observations to understand causes for both long-term trends and short-term variations. Employing Oslo CTM3 we are able to reproduce the seasonal and year-to-year variations and shifts between years with consecutive growth and stagnation, both at global and regional scales. The overall CH4 trend over the period is reproduced, but for some periods the model fails to reproduce the strength of the growth. The model overestimates the observed growth after 2006 in all regions. This seems to be explained by an overly strong increase in anthropogenic emissions in Asia, having global impact. Our findings confirm other studies questioning the timing or strength of the emission changes in Asia in the EDGAR v4.2 emission inventory over recent decades. The evolution of CH4 is not only controlled by changes in sources, but also by changes in the chemical loss in the atmosphere and soil uptake. The atmospheric CH4 lifetime is an indicator of the CH4 loss. In our simulations, the atmospheric CH4 lifetime decreases by more than 8 % from 1970 to 2012, a significant reduction of the residence time of this important greenhouse gas. Changes in CO and NOx emissions, specific humidity, and ozone column drive most of this, and we provide simple prognostic equations for the relations between those and the CH4 lifetime. The reduced lifetime results in substantial growth in the chemical CH4 loss (relative to its burden) and dampens the CH4 growth.

Vollmer, MK, Muhle J, Trudinger CM, Rigby M, Montzka SA, Harth CM, Miller BR, Henne S, Krummel PB, Hall BD, Young D, Kim J, Arduini J, Wenger A, Yao B, Reimann S, O'Doherty S, Maione M, Etheridge DM, Li SL, Verdonik DP, Park S, Dutton G, Steele LP, Lunder CR, Rhee TS, Hermansen O, Schmidbauer N, Wang RHJ, Hill M, Salameh PK, Langenfelds RL, Zhou LX, Blunier T, Schwander J, Elkins JW, Butler JH, Simmonds PG, Weiss RF, Prinn RG, Fraser PJ.  2016.  Atmospheric histories and global emissions of halons H-1211 (CBrClF2), H-1301 (CBrF3), and H-2402 (CBrF2CBrF2). Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 121:3663-3686.   10.1002/2015jd024488   AbstractWebsite

We report ground-based atmospheric measurements and emission estimates for the halons H-1211 (CBrClF2), H-1301 (CBrF3), and H-2402 (CBrF2CBrF2) from the AGAGE (Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration global networks. We also include results from archived air samples in canisters and from polar firn in both hemispheres, thereby deriving an atmospheric record of nearly nine decades (1930s to present). All three halons were absent from the atmosphere until approximate to 1970, when their atmospheric burdens started to increase rapidly. In recent years H-1211 and H-2402 mole fractions have been declining, but H-1301 has continued to grow. High-frequency observations show continuing emissions of H-1211 and H-1301 near most AGAGE sites. For H-2402 the only emissions detected were derived from the region surrounding the Sea of Japan/East Sea. Based on our observations, we derive global emissions using two different inversion approaches. Emissions for H-1211 declined from a peak of 11ktyr(-1) (late 1990s) to 3.9ktyr(-1) at the end of our record (mean of 2013-2015), for H-1301 from 5.4ktyr(-1) (late 1980s) to 1.6ktyr(-1), and for H-2402 from 1.8ktyr(-1) (late 1980s) to 0.38ktyr(-1). Yearly summed halon emissions have decreased substantially; nevertheless, since 2000 they have accounted for approximate to 30% of the emissions of all major anthropogenic ozone depletion substances, when weighted by ozone depletion potentials.

Chirkov, M, Stiller GP, Laeng A, Kellmann S, von Clarmann T, Boone CD, Elkins JW, Engel A, Glatthor N, Grabowski U, Harth CM, Kiefer M, Kolonjari F, Krummel PB, Linden A, Lunder CR, Miller BR, Montzka SA, Mühle J, O'Doherty S, Orphal J, Prinn RG, Toon G, Vollmer MK, Walker KA, Weiss RF, Wiegele A, Young D.  2016.  Global HCFC-22 measurements with MIPAS: retrieval, validation, global distribution and its evolution over 2005–2012. Atmos. Chem. Phys.. 16:3345-3368.: Copernicus Publications   10.5194/acp-16-3345-2016   AbstractWebsite

We report on HCFC-22 data acquired by the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) in the reduced spectral resolution nominal observation mode. The data cover the period from January 2005 to April 2012 and the altitude range from the upper troposphere (above cloud top altitude) to about 50 km. The profile retrieval was performed by constrained nonlinear least squares fitting of modelled spectra to the measured limb spectral radiances. The spectral ν4-band at 816.5 ± 13 cm−1 was used for the retrieval. A Tikhonov-type smoothing constraint was applied to stabilise the retrieval. In the lower stratosphere, we find a global volume mixing ratio of HCFC-22 of about 185 pptv in January 2005. The rate of linear growth in the lower latitudes lower stratosphere was about 6 to 7 pptv year−1 in the period 2005–2012. The profiles obtained were compared with ACE-FTS satellite data v3.5, as well as with MkIV balloon profiles and cryosampler balloon measurements. Between 13 and 22 km, average agreement within −3 to +5 pptv (MIPAS – ACE) with ACE-FTS v3.5 profiles is demonstrated. Agreement with MkIV solar occultation balloon-borne measurements is within 10–20 pptv below 30 km and worse above, while in situ cryosampler balloon measurements are systematically lower over their full altitude range by 15–50 pptv below 24 km and less than 10 pptv above 28 km. MIPAS HCFC-22 time series below 10 km altitude are shown to agree mostly well to corresponding time series of near-surface abundances from the NOAA/ESRL and AGAGE networks, although a more pronounced seasonal cycle is obvious in the satellite data. This is attributed to tropopause altitude fluctuations and subsidence of polar winter stratospheric air into the troposphere. A parametric model consisting of constant, linear, quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) and several sine and cosine terms with different periods has been fitted to the temporal variation of stratospheric HCFC-22 for all 10°-latitude/1-to-2-km-altitude bins. The relative linear variation was always positive, with relative increases of 40–70 % decade−1 in the tropics and global lower stratosphere, and up to 120 % decade−1 in the upper stratosphere of the northern polar region and the southern extratropical hemisphere. Asian HCFC-22 emissions have become the major source of global upper tropospheric HCFC-22. In the upper troposphere, monsoon air, rich in HCFC-22, is instantaneously mixed into the tropics. In the middle stratosphere, between 20 and 30 km, the observed trend is inconsistent with the trend at the surface (corrected for the age of stratospheric air), hinting at circulation changes. There exists a stronger positive trend in HCFC-22 in the Southern Hemisphere and a more muted positive trend in the Northern Hemisphere, implying a potential change in the stratospheric circulation over the observation period.

Petrenko, VV, Severinghaus JP, Schaefer H, Smith AM, Kuhl T, Baggenstos D, Hua Q, Brook EJ, Rose P, Kulin R, Bauska T, Harth C, Buizert C, Orsi A, Emanuele G, Lee JE, Brailsford G, Keeling R, Weiss RF.  2016.  Measurements of 14C in ancient ice from Taylor Glacier, Antarctica constrain in situ cosmogenic 14CH4 and 14CO production rates. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 177:62-77.   10.1016/j.gca.2016.01.004   Abstract

Carbon-14 (14C) is incorporated into glacial ice by trapping of atmospheric gases as well as direct near-surface in situ cosmogenic production. 14C of trapped methane (14CH4) is a powerful tracer for past CH4 emissions from “old” carbon sources such as permafrost and marine CH4 clathrates. 14C in trapped carbon dioxide (14CO2) can be used for absolute dating of ice cores. In situ produced cosmogenic 14C in carbon monoxide (14CO) can potentially be used to reconstruct the past cosmic ray flux and past solar activity. Unfortunately, the trapped atmospheric and in situ cosmogenic components of 14C in glacial ice are difficult to disentangle and a thorough understanding of the in situ cosmogenic component is needed in order to extract useful information from ice core 14C. We analyzed very large (≈1000 kg) ice samples in the 2.26–19.53 m depth range from the ablation zone of Taylor Glacier, Antarctica, to study in situ cosmogenic production of 14CH4 and 14CO. All sampled ice is >50 ka in age, allowing for the assumption that most of the measured 14C originates from recent in situ cosmogenic production as ancient ice is brought to the surface via ablation. Our results place the first constraints on cosmogenic 14CH4 production rates and improve on prior estimates of 14CO production rates in ice. We find a constant 14CH4/14CO production ratio (0.0076 ± 0.0003) for samples deeper than 3 m, which allows the use of 14CO for correcting the 14CH4 signals for the in situ cosmogenic component. Our results also provide the first unambiguous confirmation of 14C production by fast muons in a natural setting (ice or rock) and suggest that the 14C production rates in ice commonly used in the literature may be too high.