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Papadimitriou, VC, Portmann RW, Fahey DW, Muhle J, Weiss RF, Burkholder JB.  2008.  Experimental and theoretical study of the atmospheric chemistry and global warming potential of SO2F2. Journal of Physical Chemistry A. 112:12657-12666.   10.1021/jp806368u   AbstractWebsite

In this work, potential atmospheric loss processes for SO(2)F(2), a commercially used biocide (fumigant), have been studied and its global warming potential calculated. Rate coefficients for the gas-phase reactions OH + SO(2)F(2) -> products, k(1), and Cl + SO(2)F(2) -> products, k(4), were determined using a relative rate technique to be k(1) < 1 x 10(-16) cm(3) molecule(-1) s(-1) at 296 and 333 K and k(4)(296 K) < 5 x 10(-17) cm(3) molecule(-1) s(-1). UV absorption cross sections of SO(2)F(2) were measured at 184.9, 193, and 213.9 nm, and its photolysis quantum yield at 193 urn was determined to be <0.02. The atmospheric lifetime of SO(2)F(2) with respect to loss by OH, Cl, and O((1)D) reaction and UV photodissociation is estimated to be >300, >10 000, 700, and >4700 years, respectively. The stratospheric lifetime of SO(2)F(2) is calculated using a two-dimensional model to be 630 years. The global warming potential (GWP) for SO(2)F(2) was calculated to be 4780 for the 100 year time horizon using infrared absorption cross sections measured in this work and a SO(2)F(2) globally averaged atmospheric lifetime of 36 years, which is determined primarily by ocean uptake, reported by Muhle et al. (Muhle, J.; Huang, J.; Weiss, R. F.; Prinn, R. G.; Miller, B. R.; Salameh, P. K.; Harth, C. M.; Fraser, P. J.; Porter, L. W.; Greally, B. R.; O'Doherty, S.; Simonds, P. G. J. Geophys. Res., submitted for publication, 2008). Reaction channels and the possible formation of stable adducts in reactions 1 and 4 were evaluated using ab initio, CCSD(T), and density functional theory, B3P86, quantum mechanical electronic Structure calculations. The most likely reaction product channels were found to be highly endothermic, consistent with the upper limits of the rate coefficients measured in this work.

Park, S, Li S, Mühle J, O'Doherty S, Weiss RF, Fang X, Reimann S, Prinn RG.  2018.  Toward resolving the budget discrepancy of ozone-depleting carbon tetrachloride (CCl4): an analysis of top-down emissions from China. Atmos. Chem. Phys.. 18:11729-11738.: Copernicus Publications   10.5194/acp-18-11729-2018   Abstract

Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) is a first-generation ozone-depleting substance, and its emissive use and production were globally banned by the Montreal Protocol with a 2010 phase-out; however, production and consumption for non-dispersive use as a chemical feedstock and as a process agent are still allowed. This study uses the high frequency and magnitude of CCl4 pollution events from an 8-year real-time atmospheric measurement record obtained at Gosan station (a regional background monitoring site in East Asia) to present evidence of significant unreported emissions of CCl4. Top-down emissions of CCl4 amounting to 23.6±7.1Gg yr−1 from 2011 to 2015 are estimated for China, in contrast to the most recently reported, post-2010, Chinese bottom-up emissions of 4.3–5.2Ggyr−1. The missing emissions ( ∼ 19Ggyr−1) for China contribute to approximately 54% of global CCl4 emissions. It is also shown that 89 % ± 6% of CCl4 enhancements observed at Gosan are related to CCl4 emissions from the production of CH3Cl, CH2Cl2, CHCl3 and C2Cl4 and its usage as a feedstock and process agent in chemical manufacturing industries. Specific sources and processes are identified using statistical methods, and it is considered highly unlikely that CCl4 is emitted by dispersive uses such as old landfills, contaminated soils and solvent usage. It is thus crucial to implement technical improvements and better regulation strategies to reduce evaporative losses of CCl4 occurring at the factory and/or process levels.

Patra, PK, Takigawa M, Ishijima K, Choi B-C, Cunnold D, Dlugokencky EJ, Fraser P, Gomez-Pelaez AJ, Goo T-Y, Kim J-S, Krummel P, Langenfelds R, Meinhardt F, Mukai H, O'Doherty S, Prinn RG, Simmonds P, Steele P, Tohjima Y, Tsuboi K, Uhse K, Weiss R, Worthy D, Nakazawa T.  2009.  Growth rate, seasonal, synoptic, diurnal variations and budget of methane in the lower atmosphere. Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan. 87:635-663.: Meteorological Society of Japan, 1-3-4, Ote-machi Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-0004 Japan, [mailto:metsoc-j@aurora.ocn.ne.jp], [URL:http://wwwsoc.nii.ac.jp/msj/index-e.html]   10.2151/jmsj.87.635   AbstractWebsite

We have used an AGCM (atmospheric general circulation model)-based Chemistry Transport Model (ACTM) for the simulation of methane (CH sub(4)) in the height range of earth's surface to about 90 km. The model simulations are compared with measurements at hourly, daily, monthly and interannual time scales by filtering or averaging all the timeseries appropriately. From this model-observation comparison, we conclude that the recent (1990-2006) trends in growth rate and seasonal cycle at most measurement sites can be fairly successfully modeled by using existing knowledge of CH sub(4) flux trends and seasonality. A large part of the interannual variability (IAV) in CH sub(4) growth rate is apparently controlled by IAV in atmospheric dynamics at the tropical sites and forest fires in the high latitude sites. The flux amplitudes are optimized with respect to the available hydroxyl radical (OH) distribution and model transport for successful reproduction of latitudinal and longitudinal distribution of observed CH sub(4) mixing ratio at the earth's surface. Estimated atmospheric CH sub(4) lifetime in this setup is 8.6 years. We found a small impact (less than 0.5 integrated over 1 year) of OH diurnal variation, due to temperature dependence of reaction rate coefficient, on CH sub(4) simulation compared to the transport related variability (order of +/-15 at interannual timescales). Model-observation comparisons of seasonal cycles, synoptic variations and diurnal cycles are shown to be useful for validating regional flux distribution patterns and strengths. Our results, based on two emission scenarios, suggest reduced emissions from temperate and tropical Asia region (by 13, 5, 3 Tg-CH sub(4) for India, China and Indonesia, respectively), and compensating increase (by 9, 9, 3 Tg-CH sub(4) for Russia, United States and Canada, respectively) in the boreal Northern Hemisphere (NH) are required for improved model-observation agreement.

Patra, PK, Krol MC, Montzka SA, Arnold T, Atlas EL, Lintner BR, Stephens BB, Xiang B, Elkins JW, Fraser PJ, Ghosh A, Hintsa EJ, Hurst DF, Ishijima K, Krummel PB, Miller BR, Miyazaki K, Moore FL, Muhle J, O'Doherty S, Prinn RG, Steele LP, Takigawa M, Wang HJ, Weiss RF, Wofsy SC, Young D.  2014.  Observational evidence for interhemispheric hydroxyl-radical parity. Nature. 513:219-+.   10.1038/nature13721   AbstractWebsite

The hydroxyl radical (OH) is a key oxidant involved in the removal of air pollutants and greenhouse gases from the atmosphere(1-3). The ratio of Northern Hemispheric to Southern Hemispheric (NH/SH) OH concentration is important for our understanding of emission estimates of atmospheric species such as nitrogen oxides and methane(4-6). It remains poorly constrained, however, with a range of estimates from 0.85 to 1.4 (refs 4,7-10). Here we determine the NH/SH ratio of OH with the help of methyl chloroform data (a proxy for OH concentrations) and an atmospheric transport model that accurately describes interhemispheric transport and modelled emissions. We find that for the years 2004-2011 the model predicts an annual mean NH-SH gradient of methyl chloroform that is a tight linear function of the modelled NH/SH ratio in annual mean OH. We estimate a NH/SH OH ratio of 0.97 +/- 0.12 during this time period by optimizing global total emissions and mean OH abundance to fit methyl chloroform data from two surface-measurement networks and aircraft campaigns(11-13). Our findings suggest that top-down emission estimates of reactive species such as nitrogen oxides in key emitting countries in the NH that are based on a NH/SH OH ratio larger than 1 may be overestimated.

Penkett, SA, Butler JH, Kurylo MJ, Reeves CE, Rodriguez JM, Singh H, Toohey D, Weiss R.  1995.  Methyl bromide. Scientific assessment of ozone depletion: 1994 (World Meterological Organization, Global Ozone Research and Monitoring Report). ( World Meteorological O, Ed.).:26., Geneva, Switzerland; Nairobi, Kenya; Washington, DC, USA: World Meteorological Organization Abstract
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Petrenko, VV, Smith AM, Brook EJ, Lowe D, Riedel K, Brailsford G, Hua Q, Schaefer H, Reeh N, Weiss RF, Etheridge D, Severinghaus JP.  2009.  14CH4 measurements in Greenland ice: investigating last glacial termination CH4 sources. Science. 324:506-508.   10.1126/science.1168909   AbstractWebsite

The cause of a large increase of atmospheric methane concentration during the Younger Dryas-Preboreal abrupt climatic transition (similar to 11,600 years ago) has been the subject of much debate. The carbon-14 (C-14) content of methane ((CH4)-C-14) should distinguish between wetland and clathrate contributions to this increase. We present measurements of (CH4)-C-14 in glacial ice, targeting this transition, performed by using ice samples obtained from an ablation site in west Greenland. Measured (CH4)-C-14 values were higher than predicted under any scenario. Sample (CH4)-C-14 appears to be elevated by direct cosmogenic C-14 production in ice. C-14 of CO was measured to better understand this process and correct the sample (CH4)-C-14. Corrected results suggest that wetland sources were likely responsible for the majority of the Younger Dryas-Preboreal CH4 rise.

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.

Petrenko, VV, Etheridge DM, Weiss RF, Brook EJ, Schaefer H, Severinghaus JP, Smith AM, Lowe D, Hua QA, Riedel K.  2010.  Methane from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. Science. 329:1146-1147.   10.1126/science.329.5996.1146-b   AbstractWebsite

In their Report “Extensive methane venting to the atmosphere from sediments of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf” (5 March, p. 1246), N. Shakhova et al. write that methane (CH4) release resulting from thawing Arctic permafrost “is a likely positive feedback to climate warming.” They add that the release of Arctic CH4 was implied in previous climate shifts as well as in the recently renewed rise in atmospheric CH4. These claims are not supported by all the literature they cite. Their reference 5 (1) presents measurements of emissions only of carbon dioxide, not CH4. Their reference 8 (2), a study we conducted, suggests that a very large (∼50%) increase in atmospheric CH4 concentration associated with an abrupt warming event ∼11,600 years ago was driven mainly by wetlands, without distinguishing between high and low latitudes. Their reference 9 (3) was published in 1993 and is not relevant to the renewed growth of atmospheric CH4 that started in 2007. Their reference 10 (4) does not imply Arctic CH4 releases in this renewed growth, and other recent work (5) also does not support sustained new emissions from the Arctic as the cause.

Petrenko, VV, Severinghaus JP, Brook EJ, Muhle J, Headly M, Harth CM, Schaefer H, Reeh N, Weiss RF, Lowe D, Smith AM.  2008.  A novel method for obtaining very large ancient air samples from ablating glacial ice for analyses of methane radiocarbon. Journal of Glaciology. 54:233-244.   10.3189/002214308784886135   AbstractWebsite

We present techniques for obtaining large (similar to 100 L STP) samples of ancient air for analysis of (14)C of methane ((14)CH(4)) and other trace constituents. Paleoatmospheric (14)CH(4) measurements should constrain the fossil fraction of past methane budgets, as well as provide a definitive test of methane clathrate involvement in large and rapid methane concentration ([CH(4)]) increases that accompanied rapid warming events during the last deglaciation. Air dating to the Younger Dryas-Preboreal and Oldest Dryas-Bolling abrupt climatic transitions was obtained by melt extraction from old glacial ice outcropping at an ablation margin in West Greenland. The outcropping ice and occluded air were dated using a combination of delta(15)N of N(2), delta(18)O of O(2), delta(18)O(ice) and [CH(4)] measurements. The [CH(4)] blank of the melt extractions was <4 ppb. Measurements of delta(18)O and delta(15)N indicated no significant gas isotopic fractionation from handling. Measured Ar/N(2), CFC-11 and CFC-12 in the samples indicated no significant contamination from ambient air. Ar/N(2), Kr/Ar and Xe/Ar ratios in the samples were used to quantify effects of gas dissolution during the melt extractions and correct the sample [CH(4)]. Corrected [CH(4)] is elevated over expected values by up to 132 ppb for most samples, suggesting some in situ CH(4) production in ice at this site.

Petrenko, VV, Severinghaus JP, Smith AM, Riedel K, Baggenstos D, Harth C, Orsi A, Hua Q, Franz P, Takeshita Y, Brailsford GW, Weiss RF, Buizert C, Dickson A, Schaefer H.  2013.  High-precision 14C measurements demonstrate production of in situ cosmogenic 14CH4 and rapid loss of in situ cosmogenic 14CO in shallow Greenland firn. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 365:190-197.   10.1016/j.epsl.2013.01.032   AbstractWebsite

Measurements of radiocarbon (C-14) in carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and carbon monoxide (CO) from glacial ice are potentially useful for absolute dating of ice cores, studies of the past atmospheric CH4 budget and for reconstructing the past cosmic ray flux and solar activity. Interpretation of C-14 signals in ice is complicated by the fact that the two major C-14 components-trapped atmospheric and in situ cosmogenic-are present in a combined form, as well as by a very limited understanding of the in situ component. This study measured (CH4)-C-14 and (CO)-C-14 content in glacial firn with unprecedented precision to advance understanding of the in situ C-14 component. (CH4)-C-14 and (CO)-C-14 were melt-extracted on site at Summit, Greenland from three very large (similar to 1000 kg each) replicate samples of firn that spanned a depth range of 3.6-5.6 m. Non-cosmogenic C-14 contributions were carefully characterized through simulated extractions and a suite of supporting measurements. In situ cosmogenic (CO)-C-14 was quantified to better than +/- 0.6 molecules g(-1) ice, improving on the precision of the best prior ice (CO)-C-14 measurements by an order of magnitude. The (CO)-C-14 measurements indicate that most (>99%) of the in situ cosmogenic C-14 is rapidly lost from shallow Summit firn to the atmosphere. Despite this rapid C-14 loss, our measurements successfully quantified (CH4)-C-14 in the retained fraction of cosmogenic C-14 (to +/- 0.01 molecules g(-1) ice or better), and demonstrate for the first time that a significant amount of (CH4)-C-14 is produced by cosmic rays in natural ice. This conclusion increases the confidence in the results of an earlier study that used measurements of (CH4)-C-14 in glacial ice to show that wetlands were the likely main driver of the large and rapid atmospheric CH4 increase approximately 1 1.6 kyr ago. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Prinn, RG, Huang J, Weiss RF, Cunnold DM, Fraser PJ, Simmonds PG, McCulloch A, Harth C, Reimann S, Salameh P, O'Doherty S, Wang RHJ, Porter LW, Miller BR, Krummel PB.  2005.  Evidence for variability of atmospheric hydroxyl radicals over the past quarter century. Geophysical Research Letters. 32   10.1029/2004gl022228   AbstractWebsite

The hydroxyl free radical (OH) is the major oxidizing chemical in the atmosphere, destroying about 3.7 petagrams (Pg) of trace gases each year, including many gases involved in ozone depletion, the greenhouse effect and urban air pollution. Measurements of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (methyl chloroform, CH3CCl3), which reacts with OH, provide the most accurate method currently utilized for determining the global behavior of OH. We report that CH3CCl3 levels rose steadily from 1978 to reach a maximum in 1992 and have since decreased rapidly to levels in 2004 about 30% of the levels when measurements began in 1978. Analysis of these observations shows that global average OH levels had a small maximum around 1989 and a larger minimum around 1998, with OH concentrations in 2003 being comparable to those in 1979. This post-1998 recovery of OH reported here contrasts with the situation 4 years ago when reported OH was decreasing. The 1997-1999 OH minimum coincides with, and is likely caused by, major global wildfires and an intense El Nino event at this time.

Prinn, RG, Zander R, Cunnold DM, Elkins JW, Engel A, Fraser PJ, Gunson MR, Ko MKW, Mahieu E, Midgley PM, Russel III JM, Volk CM, Weiss RF.  1999.  Long-lived ozone-related compounds. Scientific assessment of ozone depletion, 1998 (World Meteorological Organization, Global Ozone Research and Monitoring Project Report 44). :54., Washington, DC: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Abstract
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Prinn, RG, Weiss RF, Fraser PJ, Simmonds PG, Cunnold DM, Alyea FN, O'Doherty S, Salameh P, Miller BR, Huang J, Wang RHJ, Hartley DE, Harth C, Steele LP, Sturrock G, Midgley PM, McCulloch A.  2000.  A history of chemically and radiatively important gases in air deduced from ALE/GAGE/AGAGE. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 105:17751-17792.   10.1029/2000jd900141   AbstractWebsite

We describe in detail the instrumentation and calibrations used in the Atmospheric Lifetime Experiment (ALE), the Global Atmospheric Cases Experiment (GAGE), and the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) and present a history of the majority of the anthropogenic ozone-depleting and climate-forcing gases in air based on these experiments. Beginning in 1978, these three successive automated high-frequency in situ experiments have documented the long-term behavior of the measured concentrations of these gases over the past 20 years, and show both the evolution of latitudinal gradients and the high-frequency variability due to sources and circulation. We provide estimates of the long-term trends in total chlorine contained in long-lived halocarbons involved in ozone depletion. We summarize interpretations of these measurements using inverse methods to determine trace gas lifetimes and emissions. Finally, we provide a combined observational and modeled reconstruction of the evolution of chlorocarbons by latitude in the atmosphere over the past 60 years which can be used as boundary conditions for interpreting trapped air in glaciers and oceanic measurements of chlorocarbon tracers of the deep oceanic circulation. Some specific conclusions are as follows: (1) International compliance with the Montreal Protocol is so far resulting in chlorofluorocarbon and chlorocarbon mole fractions comparable to target levels; (2) mole fractions of total chlorine contained in long-lived halocarbons (CCl2F2, CCl3F, CH3CCl3, CCl4, CHClF2, CCl2FCClF2, CH3Cl, CH2Cl2, CHCl3, CCl2=CCl2) in the lower troposphere reached maximum values of about 3.6 ppb in 1993 and are beginning to slowly decrease in the global lower atmosphere; (3) the chlorofluorocarbons have atmospheric lifetimes consistent with destruction in the stratosphere being their principal removal mechanism; (4) multiannual variations in chlorofluorocarbon and chlorocarbon emissions deduced from ALE/GAGE/AGAGE data are consistent approximately with variations estimated independently from industrial production and sales data where available (CCl2F2 (CFC-12) and CCl2FCClF2 (CFC-113) show the greatest discrepancies); (5) the mole fractions of the hydrochlorofluorocarbons and hydrofluorocarbons, which are replacing the regulated halocarbons, are rising very rapidly in the atmosphere, but with the exception of the much longer manufactured CHClF2 (HCFC-22), they are not yet at levels sufficient to contribute significantly to atmospheric chlorine loading. These replacement species could in the future provide independent estimates of the global weighted-average OH concentration provided their industrial emissions are accurately documented; (6) in the future, analysis of pollution events measured using high-frequency in situ measurements of chlorofluorocarbons and their replacements may enable emission estimates at the regional level, which, together with industrial end-use data, are of sufficient accuracy to he capable of identifying regional noncompliance with the Montreal Protocol.

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).

Prinn, RG, Huang J, Weiss RF, Cunnold DM, Fraser PJ, Simmonds PG, McCulloch A, Harth C, Salameh P, O'Doherty S, Wang RHJ, Porter L, Miller BR.  2001.  Evidence for substantial variations of atmospheric hydroxyl radicals in the past two decades. Science. 292:1882-1888.   10.1126/science.1058673   AbstractWebsite

The hydroxyl radical (OH) is the dominant oxidizing chemical in the atmosphere. It destroys most air pollutants and many gases involved in ozone depletion and the greenhouse effect. Global measurements of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (CH3CCl3, methyl chloroform) provide an accurate method for determining the global and hemispheric behavior of OH. Measurements show that CH3CCl3 Levels rose steadily from 1978 to reach a maximum in 1992 and then decreased rapidly to levels in 2000 that were Lower than the levels when measurements began in 1978. Analysis of these observations shows that global OH Levels were growing between 1978 and 1988, but the growth rate was decreasing at a rate of 0.23 +/- 0.18% year(-2), so that OH Levels began declining after 1988. Overall, the global average OH trend between 1978 and 2000 was -0.64 +/- 0.60% year(-1). These variations imply important and unexpected gaps in current understanding of the capability of the atmosphere to cleanse itself.

Prinn, RG, Weiss RF, Miller BR, Huang J, Alyea FN, Cunnold DM, Fraser PJ, Hartley DE, Simmonds PG.  1995.  Atmospheric trends and lifetime of CH3CCI3 and global OH concentrations . Science. 269:187-192.   10.1126/science.269.5221.187   AbstractWebsite

Determination of the atmospheric concentrations and lifetime of trichloroethane (CH3CCl3) is very important in the context of global change. This halocarbon is involved in depletion of ozone, and the hydroxyl radical (OH) concentrations determined from its lifetime provide estimates of the lifetimes of most other hydrogen-containing gases involved in the ozone layer and climate. Global measurements of trichloroethane indicate rising concentrations before and declining concentrations after late 1991. The lifetime of CH3CCl3 in the total atmosphere is 4.8 +/- 0.3 years, which is substantially lower than previously estimated. The deduced hydroxyl radical concentration, which measures the atmosphere's oxidizing capability, shows little change from 1978 to 1994.