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Lunt, MF, Rigby M, Ganesan AL, Manning AJ, Prinn RG, O'Doherty S, Muhle J, Harth CM, Salameh PK, Arnold T, Weiss RF, Saito T, Yokouchi Y, Krummel PB, Steele LP, Fraser PJ, Li SL, Park S, Reimann S, Vollmer MK, Lunder C, Hermansen O, Schmidbauer N, Maione M, Arduini J, Young D, Simmonds PG.  2015.  Reconciling reported and unreported HFC emissions with atmospheric observations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 112:5927-5931.   10.1073/pnas.1420247112   AbstractWebsite

We infer global and regional emissions of five of the most abundant hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) using atmospheric measurements from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment and the National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan, networks. We find that the total CO2-equivalent emissions of the five HFCs from countries that are required to provide detailed, annual reports to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) increased from 198 (175-221) Tg-CO2-eq.y(-1) in 2007 to 275 (246-304) Tg-CO2-eq.y(-1) in 2012. These global warming potential-weighted aggregated emissions agree well with those reported to the UNFCCC throughout this period and indicate that the gap between reported emissions and global HFC emissions derived from atmospheric trends is almost entirely due to emissions from nonreporting countries. However, our measurement-based estimates of individual HFC species suggest that emissions, from reporting countries, of the most abundant HFC, HFC-134a, were only 79% (63-95%) of the UNFCCC inventory total, while other HFC emissions were significantly greater than the reported values. These results suggest that there are inaccuracies in the reporting methods for individual HFCs, which appear to cancel when aggregated together.

Rhoderick, G, Guenther F, Duewer D, Lee J, Kim JS, Hall B, Weiss R, Harth C, Reimann S, Vollmer M.  2014.  CCQM-P151 final report pilot study CCQM P151 halocarbons in dry whole air. Metrologia. 51 AbstractWebsite

The growing awareness of climate change/global warming and continuing concerns regarding stratospheric ozone depletion will require future measurements and standards for many compounds, in particular halocarbons that are linked to these issues. In order to track and control the emissions of these species globally in the atmosphere, it is necessary to demonstrate measurement equivalence at the highest levels of accuracy for assigned values of standards. This report describes the results of a pilot study between National Metrology Institutes and atmospheric research laboratories for several of the more important halocarbons at atmospheric concentration levels. The comparison includes the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) dichlorodifluoromethane (CFC 12), trichlorofluoromethane (CFC 11), and 1,1,2- trichlorotrifluoroethane (CFC 113); the hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC 22) and 1-chloro-1,1-difluoroethane (HCFC 142b); and the hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) 1,1,1,2 tetrafluoroethane (HFC 134a), all in a dried whole air sample. The objective of this key comparison is to compare the measurement capabilities of the participants for these halocarbons at trace atmospheric levels.

O'Doherty, S, Rigby M, Muhle J, Ivy DJ, Miller BR, Young D, Simmonds PG, Reimann S, Vollmer MK, Krummel PB, Fraser PJ, Steele LP, Dunse B, Salameh PK, Harth CM, Arnold T, Weiss RF, Kim J, Park S, Li S, Lunder C, Hermansen O, Schmidbauer N, Zhou LX, Yao B, Wang RHJ, Manning AJ, Prinn RG.  2014.  Global emissions of HFC-143a (CH3CF3) and HFC-32 (CH2F2) from in situ and air archive atmospheric observations. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 14:9249-9258.   10.5194/acp-14-9249-2014   AbstractWebsite

High-frequency, in situ observations from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), for the period 2003 to 2012, combined with archive flask measurements dating back to 1977, have been used to capture the rapid growth of HFC-143a (CH3CF3) and HFC-32 (CH2F2) mole fractions and emissions into the atmosphere. Here we report the first in situ global measurements of these two gases. HFC-143a and HFC-32 are the third and sixth most abundant hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) respectively and they currently make an appreciable contribution to the HFCs in terms of atmospheric radiative forcing (1.7 +/- 0.04 and 0.7 +/- 0.02 mW m(-2) in 2012 respectively). In 2012 the global average mole fraction of HFC-143a was 13.4 +/- 0.3 ppt (1 sigma) in the lower troposphere and its growth rate was 1.4 +/- 0.04 ppt yr(-1); HFC-32 had a global mean mole fraction of 6.2 +/- 0.2 ppt and a growth rate of 1.1 +/- 0.04 ppt yr(-1) in 2012. The extensive observations presented in this work have been combined with an atmospheric transport model to simulate global atmospheric abundances and derive global emission estimates. It is estimated that 23 +/- 3 Gg yr(-1) of HFC-143a and 21 +/- 11 Gg yr(-1) of HFC-32 were emitted globally in 2012, and the emission rates are estimated to be increasing by 7 +/- 5% yr(-1) for HFC-143a and 14 +/- 11% yr(-1) for HFC-32.

Saikawa, E, Prinn RG, Dlugokencky E, Ishijima K, Dutton GS, Hall BD, Langenfelds R, Tohjima Y, Machida T, Manizza M, Rigby M, O'Doherty S, Patra PK, Harth CM, Weiss RF, Krummel PB, van der Schoot M, Fraser PJ, Steele LP, Aoki S, Nakazawa T, Elkins JW.  2014.  Global and regional emissions estimates for N2O. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 14:4617-4641.   10.5194/acp-14-4617-2014   AbstractWebsite

We present a comprehensive estimate of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions using observations and models from 1995 to 2008. High-frequency records of tropospheric N2O are available from measurements at Cape Grim, Tasmania; Cape Matatula, American Samoa; Ragged Point, Barbados; Mace Head, Ireland; and at Trinidad Head, California using the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) instrumentation and calibrations. The Global Monitoring Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA/ESRL) has also collected discrete air samples in flasks and in situ measurements from remote sites across the globe and analyzed them for a suite of species including N2O. In addition to these major networks, we include in situ and aircraft measurements from the National Institute of Environmental Studies (NIES) and flask measurements from the Tohoku University and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) networks. All measurements show increasing atmospheric mole fractions of N2O, with a varying growth rate of 0.1-0.7% per year, resulting in a 7.4% increase in the background atmospheric mole fraction between 1979 and 2011. Using existing emission inventories as well as bottom-up process modeling results, we first create globally gridded a priori N2O emissions over the 37 years since 1975. We then use the three-dimensional chemical transport model, Model for Ozone and Related Chemical Tracers version 4 (MOZART v4), and a Bayesian inverse method to estimate global as well as regional annual emissions for five source sectors from 13 regions in the world. This is the first time that all of these measurements from multiple networks have been combined to determine emissions. Our inversion indicates that global and regional N2O emissions have an increasing trend between 1995 and 2008. Despite large uncertainties, a significant increase is seen from the Asian agricultural sector in recent years, most likely due to an increase in the use of nitrogenous fertilizers, as has been suggested by previous studies.

Ganesan, AL, Rigby M, Zammit-Mangion A, Manning AJ, Prinn RG, Fraser PJ, Harth CM, Kim KR, Krummel PB, Li S, Mühle J, O'Doherty SJ, Park S, Salameh PK, Steele LP, Weiss RF.  2014.  Characterization of uncertainties in atmospheric trace gas inversions using hierarchical Bayesian methods. Atmos. Chem. Phys.. 14:3855-3864.: Copernicus Publications   10.5194/acp-14-3855-2014   AbstractWebsite
Rigby, M, Prinn RG, O'Doherty S, Miller BR, Ivy D, Muhle J, Harth CM, Salameh PK, Arnold T, Weiss RF, Krummel PB, Steele LP, Fraser PJ, Young D, Simmonds PG.  2014.  Recent and future trends in synthetic greenhouse gas radiative forcing. Geophysical Research Letters. 41:2623-2630.   10.1002/2013gl059099   AbstractWebsite

Atmospheric measurements show that emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons are now the primary drivers of the positive growth in synthetic greenhouse gas (SGHG) radiative forcing. We infer recent SGHG emissions and examine the impact of future emissions scenarios, with a particular focus on proposals to reduce HFC use under the Montreal Protocol. If these proposals are implemented, overall SGHG radiative forcing could peak at around 355mWm(-2) in 2020, before declining by approximately 26% by 2050, despite continued growth of fully fluorinated greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to no HFC policy projections, this amounts to a reduction in radiative forcing of between 50 and 240mWm(-2) by 2050 or a cumulative emissions saving equivalent to 0.5 to 2.8years of CO2 emissions at current levels. However, more complete reporting of global HFC emissions is required, as less than half of global emissions are currently accounted for.

Arnold, T, Ivy DJ, Harth CM, Vollmer MK, Muhle J, Salameh PK, Steele LP, Krummel PB, Wang RHJ, Young D, Lunder CR, Hermansen O, Rhee TS, Kim J, Reimann S, O'Doherty S, Fraser PJ, Simmonds PG, Prinn RG, Weiss RF.  2014.  HFC-43-10mee atmospheric abundances and global emission estimates. Geophysical Research Letters. 41:2228-2235.   10.1002/2013gl059143   AbstractWebsite

We report in situ atmospheric measurements of hydrofluorocarbon HFC-43-10mee (C5H2F10; 1,1,1,2,2,3,4,5,5,5-decafluoropentane) from seven observatories at various latitudes, together with measurements of archived air samples and recent Antarctic flask air samples. The global mean tropospheric abundance was 0.210.05ppt (parts per trillion, dry air mole fraction) in 2012, rising from 0.040.03ppt in 2000. We combine the measurements with a model and an inverse method to estimate rising global emissionsfrom 0.430.34Ggyr(-1) in 2000 to 1.130.31Ggyr(-1) in 2012 (similar to 1.9TgCO(2)-eqyr(-1) based on a 100year global warming potential of 1660). HFC-43-10meea cleaning solvent used in the electronics industryis currently a minor contributor to global radiative forcing relative to total HFCs; however, our calculated emissions highlight a significant difference from the available reported figures and projected estimates.

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.

Kirschke, S, Bousquet P, Ciais P, Saunois M, Canadell JG, Dlugokencky EJ, Bergamaschi P, Bergmann D, Blake DR, Bruhwiler L, Cameron-Smith P, Castaldi S, Chevallier F, Feng L, Fraser A, Heimann M, Hodson EL, Houweling S, Josse B, Fraser PJ, Krummel PB, Lamarque JF, Langenfelds RL, Le Quere C, Naik V, O'Doherty S, Palmer PI, Pison I, Plummer D, Poulter B, Prinn RG, Rigby M, Ringeval B, Santini M, Schmidt M, Shindell DT, Simpson IJ, Spahni R, Steele LP, Strode SA, Sudo K, Szopa S, van der Werf GR, Voulgarakis A, van Weele M, Weiss RF, Williams JE, Zeng G.  2013.  Three decades of global methane sources and sinks. Nature Geoscience. 6:813-823.   10.1038/ngeo1955   AbstractWebsite

Methane is an important greenhouse gas, responsible for about 20% of the warming induced by long-lived greenhouse gases since pre-industrial times. By reacting with hydroxyl radicals, methane reduces the oxidizing capacity of the atmosphere and generates ozone in the troposphere. Although most sources and sinks of methane have been identified, their relative contributions to atmospheric methane levels are highly uncertain. As such, the factors responsible for the observed stabilization of atmospheric methane levels in the early 2000s, and the renewed rise after 2006, remain unclear. Here, we construct decadal budgets for methane sources and sinks between 1980 and 2010, using a combination of atmospheric measurements and results from chemical transport models, ecosystem models, climate chemistry models and inventories of anthropogenic emissions. The resultant budgets suggest that data-driven approaches and ecosystem models overestimate total natural emissions. We build three contrasting emission scenarios - which differ in fossil fuel and microbial emissions - to explain the decadal variability in atmospheric methane levels detected, here and in previous studies, since 1985. Although uncertainties in emission trends do not allow definitive conclusions to be drawn, we show that the observed stabilization of methane levels between 1999 and 2006 can potentially be explained by decreasing-to-stable fossil fuel emissions, combined with stable-to-increasing microbial emissions. We show that a rise in natural wetland emissions and fossil fuel emissions probably accounts for the renewed increase in global methane levels after 2006, although the relative contribution of these two sources remains uncertain.

Rigby, M, Prinn RG, O'Doherty S, Montzka SA, McCulloch A, Harth CM, Muhle J, Salameh PK, Weiss RF, Young D, Simmonds PG, Hall BD, Dutton GS, Nance D, Mondeel DJ, Elkins JW, Krummel PB, Steele LP, Fraser PJ.  2013.  Re-evaluation of the lifetimes of the major CFCs and CH3CCl3 using atmospheric trends. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 13:2691-2702.   10.5194/acp-13-2691-2013   AbstractWebsite

Since the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and its amendments came into effect, growth rates of the major ozone depleting substances (ODS), particularly CFC-11, -12 and -113 and CH3CCl3, have declined markedly, paving the way for global stratospheric ozone recovery. Emissions have now fallen to relatively low levels, therefore the rate at which this recovery occurs will depend largely on the atmospheric lifetime of these compounds. The first ODS measurements began in the early 1970s along with the first lifetime estimates calculated by considering their atmospheric trends. We now have global mole fraction records spanning multiple decades, prompting this lifetime re-evaluation. Using surface measurements from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Global Monitoring Division (NOAA GMD) from 1978 to 2011, we estimated the lifetime of CFC-11, CFC-12, CFC-113 and CH3CCl3 usin!

Ivy, DJ, Arnold T, Harth CM, Steele LP, Muhle J, Rigby M, Salameh PK, Leist M, Krummel PB, Fraser PJ, Weiss RF, Prinn RG.  2012.  Atmospheric histories and growth trends of C4F10, C5F12, C6F14, C7F16 and C8F18. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 12:4313-4325.   10.5194/acp-12-4313-2012   AbstractWebsite

Atmospheric observations and trends are presented for the high molecular weight perfluorocarbons (PFCs): decafluorobutane (C4F10), dodecafluoropentane (C5F12), tetradecafluorohexane (C6F14), hexadecafluoroheptane (C7F16) and octadecafluorooctane (C8F18). Their atmospheric histories are based on measurements of 36 Northern Hemisphere and 46 Southern Hemisphere archived air samples collected between 1973 to 2011 using the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) 'Medusa' preconcentration gas chromatography-mass spectrometry systems. A new calibration scale was prepared for each PFC, with estimated accuracies of 6.8% for C4F10, 7.8% for C5F12, 4.0% for C6F14, 6.6% for C7F16 and 7.9% for C8F18. Based on our observations the 2011 globally averaged dry air mole fractions of these heavy PFCs are: 0.17 parts-per-trillion (ppt, i.e., parts per 10(12)) for C4F10, 0.12 ppt for C5F12, 0.27 ppt for C6F14, 0.12 ppt for C7F16 and 0.09 ppt for C8F18. These atmospheric mole fractions combine to contribute to a global average radiative forcing of 0.35 mW m(-2), which is 6% of the total anthropogenic PFC radiative forcing (Montzka and Reimann, 2011; Oram et al., 2012). The growth rates of the heavy perfluorocarbons were largest in the late 1990s peaking at 6.2 parts per quadrillion (ppq, i.e., parts per 10(15)) per year (yr) for C4F10, at 5.0 ppq yr(-1) for C5F12 and 16.6 ppq yr(-1) for C6F14 and in the early 1990s for C7F16 at 4.7 ppq yr(-1) and in the mid 1990s for C8F18 at 4.8 ppq yr(-1). The 2011 globally averaged mean atmospheric growth rates of these PFCs are subsequently lower at 2.2 ppq yr(-1) for C4F10, 1.4 ppq yr(-1) for C5F12, 5.0 ppq yr(-1) for C6F14, 3.4 ppq yr(-1) for C7F16 and 0.9 ppq yr(-1) for C8F18. The more recent slowdown in the growth rates suggests that emissions are declining as compared to the 1980s and 1990s.

Saikawa, E, Rigby M, Prinn RG, Montzka SA, Miller BR, Kuijpers LJM, Fraser PJB, Vollmer MK, Saito T, Yokouchi Y, Harth CM, Muhle J, Weiss RF, Salameh PK, Kim J, Li S, Park S, Kim KR, Young D, O'Doherty S, Simmonds PG, McCulloch A, Krummel PB, Steele LP, Lunder C, Hermansen O, Maione M, Arduini J, Yao B, Zhou LX, Wang HJ, Elkins JW, Hall B.  2012.  Global and regional emission estimates for HCFC-22. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 12:10033-10050.   10.5194/acp-12-10033-2012   AbstractWebsite

HCFC-22 (CHClF2, chlorodifluoromethane) is an ozone-depleting substance (ODS) as well as a significant greenhouse gas (GHG). HCFC-22 has been used widely as a refrigerant fluid in cooling and air-conditioning equipment since the 1960s, and it has also served as a traditional substitute for some chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) controlled under the Montreal Protocol. A low frequency record on tropospheric HCFC-22 since the late 1970s is available from measurements of the Southern Hemisphere Cape Grim Air Archive (CGAA) and a few Northern Hemisphere air samples (mostly from Trinidad Head) using the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) instrumentation and calibrations. Since the 1990s high-frequency, high-precision, in situ HCFC-22 measurements have been collected at these AGAGE stations. Since 1992, the Global Monitoring Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA/ESRL) has also collected flasks on a weekly basis from remote sites across the globe and analyzed them for a suite of halocarbons including HCFC-22. Additionally, since 2006 flasks have been collected approximately daily at a number of tower sites across the US and analyzed for halocarbons and other gases at NOAA. All results show an increase in the atmospheric mole fractions of HCFC-22, and recent data show a growth rate of approximately 4% per year, resulting in an increase in the background atmospheric mole fraction by a factor of 1.7 from 1995 to 2009. Using data on HCFC-22 consumption submitted to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as well as existing bottom-up emission estimates, we first create globally-gridded a priori HCFC-22 emissions over the 15 yr since 1995. We then use the three-dimensional chemical transport model, Model for Ozone and Related Chemical Tracers version 4 (MOZART v4), and a Bayesian inverse method to estimate global as well as regional annual emissions. Our inversion indicates that the global HCFC-22 emissions have an increasing trend between 1995 and 2009. We further find a surge in HCFC-22 emissions between 2005 and 2009 from developing countries in Asia - the largest emitting region including China and India. Globally, substantial emissions continue despite production and consumption being phased out in developed countries currently.

Vollmer, MK, Miller BR, Rigby M, Reimann S, Muhle J, Krummel PB, O'Doherty S, Kim J, Rhee TS, Weiss RF, Fraser PJ, Simmonds PG, Salameh PK, Harth CM, Wang RHJ, Steele LP, Young D, Lunder CR, Hermansen O, Ivy D, Arnold T, Schmidbauer N, Kim KR, Greally BR, Hill M, Leist M, Wenger A, Prinn RG.  2011.  Atmospheric histories and global emissions of the anthropogenic hydrofluorocarbons HFC-365mfc, HFC-245fa, HFC-227ea, and HFC-236fa. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 116   10.1029/2010jd015309   AbstractWebsite

We report on ground-based atmospheric measurements and emission estimates of the four anthropogenic hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) HFC-365mfc (CH(3)CF(2)CH(2)CF(3), 1,1,1,3,3-pentafluorobutane), HFC-245fa (CHF(2)CH(2)CF(3), 1,1,1,3,3-pentafluoropropane), HFC-227ea (CF(3)CHFCF(3), 1,1,1,2,3,3,3-heptafluoropropane), and HFC-236fa (CF(3)CH(2)CF(3), 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoropropane). In situ measurements are from the global monitoring sites of the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), the System for Observations of Halogenated Greenhouse Gases in Europe (SOGE), and Gosan (South Korea). We include the first halocarbon flask sample measurements from the Antarctic research stations King Sejong and Troll. We also present measurements of archived air samples from both hemispheres back to the 1970s. We use a two-dimensional atmospheric transport model to simulate global atmospheric abundances and to estimate global emissions. HFC-365mfc and HFC-245fa first appeared in the atmosphere only similar to 1 decade ago; they have grown rapidly to globally averaged dry air mole fractions of 0.53 ppt (in parts per trillion, 10(-12)) and 1.1 ppt, respectively, by the end of 2010. In contrast, HFC-227ea first appeared in the global atmosphere in the 1980s and has since grown to similar to 0.58 ppt. We report the first measurements of HFC-236fa in the atmosphere. This long-lived compound was present in the atmosphere at only 0.074 ppt in 2010. All four substances exhibit yearly growth rates of >8% yr(-1) at the end of 2010. We find rapidly increasing emissions for the foam-blowing compounds HFC-365mfc and HFC-245fa starting in similar to 2002. After peaking in 2006 (HFC-365mfc: 3.2 kt yr(-1), HFC-245fa: 6.5 kt yr(-1)), emissions began to decline. Our results for these two compounds suggest that recent estimates from long-term projections (to the late 21st century) have strongly overestimated emissions for the early years of the projections (similar to 2005-2010). Global HFC-227ea and HFC-236fa emissions have grown to average values of 2.4 kt yr(-1) and 0.18 kt y(r-)1 over the 2008-2010 period, respectively.

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.

Miller, BR, Rigby M, Kuijpers LJM, Krummel PB, Steele LP, Leist M, Fraser PJ, McCulloch A, Harth C, Salameh P, Muhle J, Weiss RF, Prinn RG, Wang RHJ, O'Doherty S, Greally BR, Simmonds PG.  2010.  HFC-23 (CHF3) emission trend response to HCFC-22 (CHClF2) production and recent HFC-23 emission abatement measures. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 10:7875-7890.   10.5194/acp-10-7875-2010   AbstractWebsite

HFC-23 (also known as CHF(3), fluoroform or trifluoromethane) is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG), with a global warming potential (GWP) of 14 800 for a 100-year time horizon. It is an unavoidable by-product of HCFC-22 (CHClF(2), chlorodifluoromethane) production. HCFC-22, an ozone depleting substance (ODS), is used extensively in commercial refrigeration and air conditioning, in the extruded polystyrene (XPS) foam industries (dispersive applications) and also as a feedstock in fluoropolymer manufacture (a non-dispersive use). Aside from small markets in specialty uses, HFC-23 has historically been considered a waste gas that was, and often still is, simply vented to the atmosphere. Efforts have been made in the past two decades to reduce HFC-23 emissions, including destruction (incineration) in facilities in developing countries under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's (UNFCCC) Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and by process optimization and/or voluntary incineration by most producers in developed countries. We present observations of lower-tropospheric mole fractions of HFC-23 measured by 'Medusa' GC/MSD instruments from ambient air sampled in situ at the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) network of five remote sites (2007-2009) and in Cape Grim air archive (CGAA) samples (1978-2009) from Tasmania, Australia. These observations are used with the AGAGE 2-D atmospheric 12-box model and an inverse method to produce model mole fractions and a 'top-down' HFC-23 emission history. The model 2009 annual mean global lower-tropospheric background abundance is 22.6 (+/- 0.2) pmol mol(-1). The derived HFC-23 emissions show a 'plateau' during 1997-2003, followed by a rapid similar to 50% increase to a peak of 15.0 (+1.3/-1.2) Gg/yr in 2006. Following this peak, emissions of HFC-23 declined rapidly to 8.6 (+0.9/-1.0) Gg/yr in 2009, the lowest annual emission of the past 15 years. We derive a 1990-2008 'bottom-up' HFC-23 emission history using data from the United Nations Environment Programme and the UNFCCC. Comparison with the top-down HFC-23 emission history shows agreement within the stated uncertainties. In the 1990s, HFC-23 emissions from developed countries dominated all other sources, then began to decline and eventually became fairly constant during 2003-2008. By this point, with developed countries' emissions essentially at a plateau, the major factor controlling the annual dynamics of global HFC-23 emissions became the historical rise of developing countries' HCFC-22 dispersive use production, which peaked in 2007. Thereafter in 2007-2009, incineration through CDM projects became a larger factor, reducing global HFC-23 emissions despite rapidly rising HCFC-22 feedstock production in developing countries.

Rigby, M, Muhle J, Miller BR, Prinn RG, Krummel PB, Steele LP, Fraser PJ, Salameh PK, Harth CM, Weiss RF, Greally BR, O'Doherty S, Simmonds PG, Vollmer MK, Reimann S, Kim J, Kim KR, Wang HJ, Olivier JGJ, Dlugokencky EJ, Dutton GS, Hall BD, Elkins JW.  2010.  History of atmospheric SF6 from 1973 to 2008. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 10:10305-10320.   10.5194/acp-10-10305-2010   AbstractWebsite

We present atmospheric sulfur hexafluoride (SF(6)) mole fractions and emissions estimates from the 1970s to 2008. Measurements were made of archived air samples starting from 1973 in the Northern Hemisphere and from 1978 in the Southern Hemisphere, using the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric (GC-MS) systems. These measurements were combined with modern high-frequency GC-MS and GC-electron capture detection (ECD) data from AGAGE monitoring sites, to produce a unique 35-year atmospheric record of this potent greenhouse gas. Atmospheric mole fractions were found to have increased by more than an order of magnitude between 1973 and 2008. The 2008 growth rate was the highest recorded, at 0.29 +/- 0.02 pmol mol(-1) yr(-1). A three-dimensional chemical transport model and a minimum variance Bayesian inverse method was used to estimate annual emission rates using the measurements, with a priori estimates from the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR, version 4). Consistent with the mole fraction growth rate maximum, global emissions during 2008 were also the highest in the 1973-2008 period, reaching 7.4 +/- 0.6 Gg yr(-1) (1-sigma uncertainties) and surpassing the previous maximum in 1995. The 2008 values follow an increase in emissions of 48 +/- 20% since 2001. A second global inversion which also incorporated National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) flask measurements and in situ monitoring site data agreed well with the emissions derived using AGAGE measurements alone. By estimating continent-scale emissions using all available AGAGE and NOAA surface measurements covering the period 2004-2008, with no pollution filtering, we find that it is likely that much of the global emissions rise during this five-year period originated primarily from Asian developing countries that do not report detailed, annual emissions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). We also find it likely that SF(6) emissions reported to the UNFCCC were underestimated between at least 2004 and 2005.

Xiao, X, Prinn RG, Fraser PJ, Simmonds PG, Weiss RF, O'Doherty S, Miller BR, Salameh PK, Harth CM, Krummel PB, Porter LW, Muhle J, Greally BR, Cunnold D, Wang R, Montzka SA, Elkins JW, Dutton GS, Thompson TM, Butler JH, Hall BD, Reimann S, Vollmer MK, Stordal F, Lunder C, Maione M, Arduini J, Yokouchi Y.  2010.  Optimal estimation of the surface fluxes of methyl chloride using a 3-D global chemical transport model. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 10:5515-5533.   10.5194/acp-10-5515-2010   AbstractWebsite

Methyl chloride (CH(3)Cl) is a chlorine-containing trace gas in the atmosphere contributing significantly to stratospheric ozone depletion. Large uncertainties in estimates of its source and sink magnitudes and temporal and spatial variations currently exist. GEIA inventories and other bottom-up emission estimates are used to construct a priori maps of the surface fluxes of CH(3)Cl. The Model of Atmospheric Transport and Chemistry (MATCH), driven by NCEP interannually varying meteorological data, is then used to simulate CH(3)Cl mole fractions and quantify the time series of sensitivities of the mole fractions at each measurement site to the surface fluxes of various regional and global sources and sinks. We then implement the Kalman filter (with the unit pulse response method) to estimate the surface fluxes on regional/global scales with monthly resolution from January 2000 to December 2004. High frequency observations from the AGAGE, SOGE, NIES, and NOAA/ESRL HATS in situ networks and low frequency observations from the NOAA/ESRL HATS flask network are used to constrain the source and sink magnitudes. The inversion results indicate global total emissions around 4100 +/- 470 Ggyr(-1) with very large emissions of 2200 +/- 390 Gg yr(-1) from tropical plants, which turn out to be the largest single source in the CH(3)Cl budget. Relative to their a priori annual estimates, the inversion increases global annual fungal and tropical emissions, and reduces the global oceanic source. The inversion implies greater seasonal and interannual oscillations of the natural sources and sink of CH(3)Cl compared to the a priori. The inversion also reflects the strong effects of the 2002/2003 globally widespread heat waves and droughts on global emissions from tropical plants, biomass burning and salt marshes, and on the soil sink.

Muhle, J, Ganesan AL, Miller BR, Salameh PK, Harth CM, Greally BR, Rigby M, Porter LW, Steele LP, Trudinger CM, Krummel PB, O'Doherty S, Fraser PJ, Simmonds PG, Prinn RG, Weiss RF.  2010.  Perfluorocarbons in the global atmosphere: tetrafluoromethane, hexafluoroethane, and octafluoropropane. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 10:5145-5164.   10.5194/acp-10-5145-2010   AbstractWebsite

We present atmospheric baseline growth rates from the 1970s to the present for the long-lived, strongly infrared-absorbing perfluorocarbons (PFCs) tetrafluoromethane (CF(4)), hexafluoroethane (C(2)F(6)), and octafluoropropane (C(3)F(8)) in both hemispheres, measured with improved accuracies (similar to 1-2%) and precisions (<0.3%, or <0.2 ppt (parts per trillion dry air mole fraction), for CF(4); <1.5%, or <0.06 ppt, for C(2)F(6); <4.5%, or <0.02 ppt, for C3F8) within the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE). Pre-industrial background values of 34.7 +/- 0.2 ppt CF(4) and 0.1 +/- 0.02 ppt C(2)F(6) were measured in air extracted from Greenland ice and Antarctic firn. Anthropogenic sources are thought to be primary aluminum production (CF(4), C(2)F(6), C(3)F(8)), semiconductor production (C(2)F(6), CF(4), C(3)F(8)) and refrigeration use (C(3)F(8)). Global emissions calculated with the AGAGE 2-D 12-box model are significantly higher than most previous emission estimates. The sum of CF(4) and C(2)F(6) emissions estimated from aluminum production and non-metal production are lower than observed global top-down emissions, with gaps of similar to 6 Gg/yr CF(4) in recent years. The significant discrepancies between previous CF(4), C(2)F(6), and C(3)F(8) emission estimates and observed global top-down emissions estimated from AGAGE measurements emphasize the need for more accurate, transparent, and complete emission reporting, and for verification with atmospheric measurements to assess the emission sources of these long-lived and potent greenhouse gases, which alter the radiative budget of the atmosphere, essentially permanently, once emitted.

O'Doherty, S, Cunnold DM, Miller BR, Muhle J, McCulloch A, Simmonds PG, Manning AJ, Reimann S, Vollmer MK, Greally BR, Prinn RG, Fraser PJ, Steele LP, Krummel PB, Dunse BL, Porter LW, Lunder CR, Schmidbauer N, Hermansen O, Salameh PK, Harth CM, Wang RHJ, Weiss RF.  2009.  Global and regional emissions of HFC-125 (CHF2CF3) from in situ and air archive atmospheric observations at AGAGE and SOGE observatories. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 114   10.1029/2009jd012184   AbstractWebsite

High-frequency, in situ observations from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) and System for Observation of halogenated Greenhouse gases in Europe (SOGE) networks for the period 1998 to 2008, combined with archive flask measurements dating back to 1978, have been used to capture the rapid growth of HFC-125 (CHF(2)CF(3)) in the atmosphere. HFC-125 is the fifth most abundant HFC, and it currently makes the third largest contribution of the HFCs to atmospheric radiative forcing. At the beginning of 2008 the global average was 5.6 ppt in the lower troposphere and the growth rate was 16% yr(-1). The extensive observations have been combined with a range of modeling techniques to derive global emission estimates in a top-down approach. It is estimated that 21 kt were emitted globally in 2007, and the emissions are estimated to have increased 15% yr(-1) since 2000. These estimates agree within approximately 20% with values reported to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) provided that estimated emissions from East Asia are included. Observations of regionally polluted air masses at individual AGAGE sites have been used to produce emission estimates for Europe (the EU-15 countries), the United States, and Australia. Comparisons between these top-down estimates and bottom-up estimates based on reports by individual countries to the UNFCCC show a range of approximately four in the differences. This process of independent verification of emissions, and an understanding of the differences, is vital for assessing the effectiveness of international treaties, such as the Kyoto Protocol.

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.

Stohl, A, Seibert P, Arduini J, Eckhardt S, Fraser P, Greally BR, Lunder C, Maione M, Muhle J, O'Doherty S, Prinn RG, Reimann S, Saito T, Schmidbauer N, Simmonds PG, Vollmer MK, Weiss RF, Yokouchi Y.  2009.  An analytical inversion method for determining regional and global emissions of greenhouse gases: Sensitivity studies and application to halocarbons. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 9:1597-1620.   10.5194/acp-9-1597-2009   AbstractWebsite

A new analytical inversion method has been developed to determine the regional and global emissions of long-lived atmospheric trace gases. It exploits in situ measurement data from three global networks and builds on backward simulations with a Lagrangian particle dispersion model. The emission information is extracted from the observed concentration increases over a baseline that is itself objectively determined by the inversion algorithm. The method was applied to two hydrofluorocarbons (HFC-134a, HFC-152a) and a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC-22) for the period January 2005 until March 2007. Detailed sensitivity studies with synthetic as well as with real measurement data were done to quantify the influence on the results of the a priori emissions and their uncertainties as well as of the observation and model errors. It was found that the global a posteriori emissions of HFC-134a, HFC-152a and HCFC-22 all increased from 2005 to 2006. Large increases (21%, 16%, 18%, respectively) from 2005 to 2006 were found for China, whereas the emission changes in North America (-9%, 23%, 17%, respectively) and Europe (11%, 11%,-4%, respectively) were mostly smaller and less systematic. For Europe, the a posteriori emissions of HFC-134a and HFC-152a were slightly higher than the a priori emissions reported to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). For HCFC-22, the a posteriori emissions for Europe were substantially (by almost a factor 2) higher than the a priori emissions used, which were based on HCFC consumption data reported to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Combined with the reported strongly decreasing HCFC consumption in Europe, this suggests a substantial time lag between the reported time of the HCFC-22 consumption and the actual time of the HCFC-22 emission. Conversely, in China where HCFC consumption is increasing rapidly according to the UNEP data, the a posteriori emissions are only about 40% of the a priori emissions. This reveals a substantial storage of HCFC-22 and potential for future emissions in China. Deficiencies in the geographical distribution of stations measuring halocarbons in relation to estimating regional emissions are also discussed in the paper. Applications of the inversion algorithm to other greenhouse gases such as methane, nitrous oxide or carbon dioxide are foreseen for the future.

Rhew, RC, Miller BR, Weiss RF.  2008.  Chloroform, carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform fluxes in southern California ecosystems. Atmospheric Environment. 42:7135-7140.   10.1016/j.atmosenv.2008.05.038   AbstractWebsite

Chloroform (CHCl3), carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), and methyl chloroform (CH3CCl3) are important carriers of chlorine to the stratosphere and account for an estimated 159 of the total organic chlorine in the troposphere, roughly equivalent to chlorine load due to methyl chloride (CH3Cl). The tropospheric burden of chlorine has declined since 1994, largely due to the restriction of CH3CCl3 and CCl4 use as specified by the Montreal Protocol. However, few field studies have been conducted on the terrestrial-atmosphere exchange of these chlorinated hydrocarbons, leading to uncertainties about the natural cycling of these trace gases. This work shows the results of 75 flux measurements conducted in a variety of southern California ecosystems, including coast sagebrush, chamise chaparral, creosote bush scrub, shoreline, and coastal salt marsh. We find no evidence of a significant soil sink in these ecosystems but rather a small net source of CHCl3 and possibly CCl4. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Rigby, M, Prinn RG, Fraser PJ, Simmonds PG, Langenfelds RL, Huang J, Cunnold DM, Steele LP, Krummel PB, Weiss RF, O'Doherty S, Salameh PK, Wang HJ, Harth CM, Muhle J, Porter LW.  2008.  Renewed growth of atmospheric methane. Geophysical Research Letters. 35   10.1029/2008gl036037   AbstractWebsite

Following almost a decade with little change in global atmospheric methane mole fraction, we present measurements from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) and the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) networks that show renewed growth starting near the beginning of 2007. Remarkably, a similar growth rate is found at all monitoring locations from this time until the latest measurements. We use these data, along with an inverse method applied to a simple model of atmospheric chemistry and transport, to investigate the possible drivers of the rise. Specifically, the relative roles of an increase in emission rate or a decrease in concentration of the hydroxyl radical, the largest methane sink, are examined. We conclude that: 1) if the annual mean hydroxyl radical concentration did not change, a substantial increase in emissions was required simultaneously in both hemispheres between 2006 and 2007; 2) if a small drop in the hydroxyl radical concentration occurred, consistent with AGAGE methyl chloroform measurements, the emission increase is more strongly biased to the Northern Hemisphere. Citation: Rigby, M., et al. (2008), Renewed growth of atmospheric methane, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L22805, doi: 10.1029/2008GL036037.

Fine, RA, Smethie WM, Bullister JL, Rhein M, Min DH, Warner MJ, Poisson A, Weiss RF.  2008.  Decadal ventilation and mixing of Indian Ocean waters. Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers. 55:20-37.   10.1016/j.dsr.2007.10.002   AbstractWebsite

Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydrographic data from the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) Indian Ocean expedition are used to evaluate contributions to decadal ventilation of water masses. At a given density, CFC-derived ages increase and concentrations decrease from the south to north, with lowest concentrations and oldest ages in Bay of Bengal. Average ages for thermocline water are 0-40 years, and for intermediate water they are less than 10 years to more than 40 years. As compared with the marginal seas or throughflow, the most significant source of CFCs for the Indian Ocean south of 12 degrees N is the Southern Hemisphere. A simple calculation is used to show this is the case even at intermediate levels due to differences in gas solubilities and mixing of Antarctic Intermediate Water and Red Sea Water. Bottom water in the Australia-Antarctic Basin is higher in CFC concentrations than that to the west in the Enderby Basin, due to the shorter distance of this water to the Adelie Land coast and Ross Sea sources. However, by 40 degrees S, CFC concentrations in the bottom water of the Crozet Basin originating from the Weddell Sea are similar to those in the South Australia Basin. Independent observations, which show that bottom water undergoes elevated mixing between the Australia-Antarctic Basin and before entering the subtropics, are consistent with high CFC dilutions (3-14-fold) and a substantial concentration decrease (factor of 5) south to north of the Southeast Indian Ridge. CFC-bearing bottom waters with ages 30 years or more are transported into the subtropical South Indian Ocean by three western boundary currents, and highest concentrations are observed in the westernmost current. During WOCE, CFC-bearing bottom water reaches to about 30 degrees S in the Perth Basin, and to 20 degrees S in the Mascarene Basin. Comparing subtropical bottom water-CFC concentrations with those of the South Pacific and Atlantic oceans, at comparable latitudes, Indian Ocean bottom water-CFC concentrations are lower, consistent with its high dissipation rates from tidal mixing and current fluctuations as shown elsewhere. Thus, the generally high dilutions and low CFC concentrations in bottom water of the Indian Ocean are due to distance to the water mass source regions and the relative effectiveness of mixing. While it is not surprising that at thermocline, intermediate, and bottom levels, the significant ventilation sources on decadal time scales are all from the south, the CFCs show how local sources and mixing within the ocean affect the ventilation. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

LeBel, DA, Smethie WM, Rhein M, Kieke D, Fine RA, Bullister JL, Min DH, Roether W, Weiss RF, Andrie C, Smythe-Wright D, Jones EP.  2008.  The formation rate of North Atlantic Deep Water and Eighteen Degree Water calculated from CFC-11 inventories observed during WOCE. Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers. 55:891-910.   10.1016/j.dsr.2008.03.009   AbstractWebsite

The accumulation of man-made chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in subsurface water masses is directly related to their formation rate, and the water mass formation rate can be calculated from its CFC inventory. CFC-11 inventories between 65 degrees N and 10 degrees S in the Atlantic Ocean have been calculated for Eighteen Degree Water (EDW) and the components of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) from data collected primarily between 1996 and 1998 as part of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE). CFC-11 inventories for individual water masses are 5.4 million moles for EDW, 10.5 million moles for Upper Labrador Sea Water (ULSW) (4.6 million moles south of 42 degrees N), 23.4 million moles for Classical Labrador Sea Water (CLSW), 10.4 million moles for Iceland-Scotland Overflow Water (ISOW), and 8.3 million moles for Denmark Strait Overflow Water (DSOW). The estimated error for these inventories is about +/- 10%. The sum of the NADW components (ULSW, CLSW, ISOW, DSOW) is 53.2 million moles which is about half of the total CFC-11 inventory, 103.8 million moles, in the North Atlantic Ocean. Maps of water column inventories illustrate the formation mechanisms and spreading pathways within these water masses. The inventories directly reflect the input of newly formed water in the North Atlantic over the time scale of the CFC transient, about 3 decades. The interior regions of the North Atlantic contain most (75-80%) of the CFC-11 inventory in NADW indicating strong recirculation and mixing of newly formed NADW from the DWBC into the interior with a time scale of 2-3 decades. Average water mass formation rates between 1970 and 1997 are: 3.3Sv for EDW, 3.5Sv for ULSW (2.0Sv from the central Labrador Sea and 1.5 Sv from the southern Labrador Sea), 8.2 Sv for CLSW, 5.7 Sv for ISOW, and 2.2 Sv for DSOW. Estimated errors are +/- 20% for CLSW and +/- 16% for the other water masses. The total for NADW, which forms the deep limb of the North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, is 19.6 Sv. An extensive test of the effects of temporal variability on the average formation rate calculated from the CFC inventory indicates that the error introduced by the assumption of a constant water mass formation rate is no greater than 15% for CLSW and 10% for the other water masses. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.