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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.

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.

Li, PY, Muhle J, Montzka SA, Oram DE, Miller BR, Weiss RF, Fraser PJ, Tanhua T.  2019.  Atmospheric histories, growth rates and solubilities in seawater and other natural waters of the potential transient tracers HCFC-22, HCFC-141b, HCFC-142b, HFC-134a, HFC-125, HFC-23, PFC-14 and PFC-116. Ocean Science. 15:33-60.   10.5194/os-15-33-2019   AbstractWebsite

We present consistent annual mean atmospheric histories and growth rates for the mainly anthropogenic halogenated compounds HCFC-22, HCFC-141b, HCFC-142b, HFC-134a, HFC-125, HFC-23, PFC-14 and PFC-116, which are all potentially useful oceanic transient tracers (tracers of water transport within the ocean), for the Northern and Southern Hemisphere with the aim of providing input histories of these compounds for the equilibrium between the atmosphere and surface ocean. We use observations of these halogenated compounds made by the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of East Anglia (UEA). Prior to the direct observational record, we use archived air measurements, firn air measurements and published model calculations to estimate the atmospheric mole fraction histories. The results show that the atmospheric mole fractions for each species, except HCFC-14 lb and HCFC-142b, have been increasing since they were initially produced. Recently, the atmospheric growth rates have been decreasing for the HCFCs (HCFC-22, HCFC-141b and HCFC-142b), increasing for the HFCs (HFC-134a, HFC-125, HFC-23) and stable with little fluctuation for the PFCs (PFC-14 and PFC-116) investigated here. The atmospheric histories (source functions) and natural background mole fractions show that HCFC-22, HCFC-141b, HCFC-142b, HFC-134a, HFC-125 and HFC-23 have the potential to be oceanic transient tracers for the next few decades only because of the recently imposed bans on production and consumption. When the atmospheric histories of the compounds are not monotonically changing, the equilibrium atmospheric mole fraction (and ultimately the age associated with that mole fraction) calculated from their concentration in the ocean is not unique, reducing their potential as transient tracers. Moreover, HFCs have potential to be oceanic transient tracers for a longer period in the future than HCFCs as the growth rates of HFCs are increasing and those of HCFCs are decreasing in the background atmosphere. PFC-14 and PFC-116, however, have the potential to be tracers for longer periods into the future due to their extremely long lifetimes, steady atmospheric growth rates and no explicit ban on their emissions. In this work, we also derive solubility functions for HCFC-22, HCFC-14 lb, HCFC-142b, HFC-134a, HFC-125, HFC-23, PFC-14 and PFC-116 in water and seawater to facilitate their use as oceanic transient tracers. These functions are based on the Clark-Glew-Weiss (CGW) water solubility function fit and salting-out coefficients estimated by the poly-parameter linear free-energy relationships (pp-LFERs). Here we also provide three methods of seawater solubility estimation for more compounds. Even though our intention is for application in oceanic research, the work described in this paper is potentially useful for tracer studies in a wide range of natural waters, including freshwater and saline lakes, and, for the more stable compounds, groundwaters.

2018
Arnold, T, Manning AJ, Kim J, Li SL, Webster H, Thomson D, Muhle J, Weiss RF, Park S, O'Doherty S.  2018.  Inverse modelling of CF4 and NF3 emissions in East Asia. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 18:13305-13320.   10.5194/acp-18-13305-2018   AbstractWebsite

Decadal trends in the atmospheric abundances of carbon tetrafluoride (CF4) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) have been well characterised and have provided a time series of global total emissions. Information on locations of emissions contributing to the global total, however, is currently poor. We use a unique set of measurements between 2008 and 2015 from the Gosan station, Jeju Island, South Korea (part of the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment network), together with an atmospheric transport model, to make spatially disaggregated emission estimates of these gases in East Asia. Due to the poor availability of good prior information for this study, our emission estimates are largely influenced by the atmospheric measurements. Notably, we are able to highlight emission hotspots of NF3 and CF4 in South Korea due to the measurement location. We calculate emissions of CF4 to be quite constant between the years 2008 and 2015 for both China and South Korea, with 2015 emissions calculated at 4.3 +/- 2.7 and 0.36 +/- 0.11 Gg yr(-1), respectively. Emission estimates of NF3 from South Korea could be made with relatively small uncertainty at 0.6 +/- 0.07 Gg yr(-1) in 2015, which equates to similar to 1.6% of the country's CO2 emissions. We also apply our method to calculate emissions of CHF3 (HFC-23) between 2008 and 2012, for which our results find good agreement with other studies and which helps support our choice in methodology for CF4 and NF3.

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.

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.

Meinshausen, M, Vogel E, Nauels A, Lorbacher K, Meinshausen N, Etheridge DM, Fraser PJ, Montzka SA, Rayner PJ, Trudinger CM, Krummel PB, Beyerle U, Canadell JG, Daniel JS, Enting IG, Law RM, Lunder CR, O'Doherty S, Prinn RG, Reimann S, Rubino M, Velders GJM, Vollmer MK, Wang RHJ, Weiss R.  2017.  Historical greenhouse gas concentrations for climate modelling (CMIP6). Geoscientific Model Development. 10:2057-2116.   10.5194/gmd-10-2057-2017   AbstractWebsite

Atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations are at unprecedented, record-high levels compared to the last 800 000 years. Those elevated GHG concentrations warm the planet and - partially offset by net cooling effects by aerosols - are largely responsible for the observed warming over the past 150 years. An accurate representation of GHG concentrations is hence important to understand and model recent climate change. So far, community efforts to create composite datasets of GHG concentrations with seasonal and latitudinal information have focused on marine boundary layer conditions and recent trends since the 1980s. Here, we provide consolidated datasets of historical atmospheric concentrations (mole fractions) of 43 GHGs to be used in the Climate Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) experiments. The presented datasets are based on AGAGE and NOAA networks, firn and ice core data, and archived air data, and a large set of published studies. In contrast to previous intercomparisons, the new datasets are latitudinally resolved and include seasonality. We focus on the period 1850-2014 for historical CMIP6 runs, but data are also provided for the last 2000 years. Weprovide consolidated datasets in various spatiotemporal resolutions for carbon dioxide (CO2), mcthanc (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as 40 other GHGs, namely 17 ozone-depleting substances, 11 hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), 9 perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and sulfuryl fluoride (SO2F2). In addition we provide three equivalence species that aggregate concentrations of GHGs other than CO2, CH4 and N2O, weighted by their radiative forcing efficiencies. For the year 1850, which is used for pre-industrial control runs, we estimate annual global-mean surface concentrations of CO2 at 284.3 ppm, CH4 at 808.2 ppb and N2O at 273.0 ppb. The data are available at https://esgf-node.llnl.gov/search/input4mips/and www.climatecollege.unimelb.edu.au/cmip6. While the minimum CMIP6 recommendation is to use the global-and annual-mean time series, modelling groups can also choose our monthly and latitudinally resolved concentrations, which imply a stronger radiative forcing in the Northern Hemisphere winter (due to the latitudinal gradient and seasonality).

2016
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.

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.

2015
Thompson, RL, Stohl A, Zhou LX, Dlugokencky E, Fukuyama Y, Tohjima Y, Kim SY, Lee H, Nisbet EG, Fisher RE, Lowry D, Weiss RF, Prinn RG, O'Doherty S, Young D, White JWC.  2015.  Methane emissions in East Asia for 2000-2011 estimated using an atmospheric Bayesian inversion. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 120:4352-4369.   10.1002/2014jd022394   AbstractWebsite

We present methane (CH4) emissions for East Asia from a Bayesian inversion of CH4 mole fraction and stable isotope (C-13-CH4) measurements. Emissions were estimated at monthly resolution from 2000 to 2011. A posteriori, the total emission for East Asia increased from 434 to 594Tgyr(-1) between 2000 and 2011, owing largely to the increase in emissions from China, from 394 to 544Tgyr(-1), while emissions in other East Asian countries remained relatively stable. For China, South Korea, and Japan, the total emissions were smaller than the prior estimates (i.e., Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research 4.2 FT2010 for anthropogenic emissions) by an average of 29%, 20%, and 23%, respectively. For Mongolia, Taiwan, and North Korea, the total emission was less than 2Tgyr(-1) and was not significantly different from the prior. The largest reductions in emissions, compared to the prior, occurred in summer in regions important for rice agriculture suggesting that this source is overestimated in the prior. Furthermore, an analysis of the isotope data suggests that the prior underestimates emissions from landfills and ruminant animals for winter 2010 to spring 2011 (no data available for other times). The inversion also found a lower average emission trend for China, 1.2Tgyr(-1) compared to 2.8Tgyr(-1) in the prior. This trend was not constant, however, and increased significantly after 2005, up to 2.0Tgyr(-1). Overall, the changes in emissions from China explain up to 40% of the increase in global emissions in the 2000s.

2014
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.

Thompson, RL, Ishijima K, Saikawa E, Corazza M, Karstens U, Patra PK, Bergamaschi P, Chevallier F, Dlugokencky E, Prinn RG, Weiss RF, O'Doherty S, Fraser PJ, Steele LP, Krummel PB, Vermeulen A, Tohjima Y, Jordan A, Haszpra L, Steinbacher M, Van der Laan S, Aalto T, Meinhardt F, Popa ME, Moncrieff J, Bousquet P.  2014.  TransCom N2O model inter-comparison - Part 2: Atmospheric inversion estimates of N2O emissions. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 14:6177-6194.   10.5194/acp-14-6177-2014   AbstractWebsite

This study examines N2O emission estimates from five different atmospheric inversion frameworks based on chemistry transport models (CTMs). The five frameworks differ in the choice of CTM, meteorological data, prior uncertainties and inversion method but use the same prior emissions and observation data set. The posterior modelled atmospheric N2O mole fractions are compared to observations to assess the performance of the inversions and to help diagnose problems in the modelled transport. Additionally, the mean emissions for 2006 to 2008 are compared in terms of the spatial distribution and seasonality. Overall, there is a good agreement among the inversions for the mean global total emission, which ranges from 16.1 to 18.7 TgN yr(-1) and is consistent with previous estimates. Ocean emissions represent between 31 and 38% of the global total compared to widely varying previous estimates of 24 to 38%. Emissions from the northern mid- to high latitudes are likely to be more important, with a consistent shift in emissions from the tropics and subtropics to the mid- to high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere; the emission ratio for 0-30A degrees N to 30-90A degrees N ranges from 1.5 to 1.9 compared with 2.9 to 3.0 in previous estimates. The largest discrepancies across inversions are seen for the regions of South and East Asia and for tropical and South America owing to the poor observational constraint for these areas and to considerable differences in the modelled transport, especially inter-hemispheric exchange rates and tropical convective mixing. Estimates of the seasonal cycle in N2O emissions are also sensitive to errors in modelled stratosphere-to-troposphere transport in the tropics and southern extratropics. Overall, the results show a convergence in the global and regional emissions compared to previous independent studies.

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.

Thompson, RL, Patra PK, Ishijima K, Saikawa E, Corazza M, Karstens U, Wilson C, Bergamaschi P, Dlugokencky E, Sweeney C, Prinn RG, Weiss RF, O'Doherty S, Fraser PJ, Steele LP, Krummel PB, Saunois M, Chipperfield M, Bousquet P.  2014.  TransCom N2O model inter-comparison - Part 1: Assessing the influence of transport and surface fluxes on tropospheric N2O variability. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 14:4349-4368.   10.5194/acp-14-4349-2014   AbstractWebsite

We present a comparison of chemistry-transport models (TransCom-N2O) to examine the importance of atmospheric transport and surface fluxes on the variability of N2O mixing ratios in the troposphere. Six different models and two model variants participated in the inter-comparison and simulations were made for the period 2006 to 2009. In addition to N2O, simulations of CFC-12 and SF6 were made by a subset of four of the models to provide information on the models' proficiency in stratosphere-troposphere exchange (STE) and meridional transport, respectively. The same prior emissions were used by all models to restrict differences among models to transport and chemistry alone. Four different N2O flux scenarios totalling between 14 and 17 TgN yr(-1) (for 2005) globally were also compared. The modelled N2O mixing ratios were assessed against observations from in situ stations, discrete air sampling networks and aircraft. All models adequately captured the large-scale patterns of N2O and the vertical gradient from the troposphere to the stratosphere and most models also adequately captured the N2O tropospheric growth rate. However, all models underestimated the inter-hemispheric N2O gradient by at least 0.33 parts per billion (ppb), equivalent to 1.5 TgN, which, even after accounting for an overestimate of emissions in the Southern Ocean of circa 1.0 TgN, points to a likely underestimate of the Northern Hemisphere source by up to 0.5 TgN and/or an overestimate of STE in the Northern Hemisphere. Comparison with aircraft data reveal that the models over-estimate the amplitude of the N2O seasonal cycle at Hawaii (21 degrees N, 158 degrees W) below circa 6000 m, suggesting an overestimate of the importance of stratosphere to troposphere transport in the lower troposphere at this latitude. In the Northern Hemisphere, most of the models that provided CFC-12 simulations captured the phase of the CFC-12, seasonal cycle, indicating a reasonable representation of the timing of STE. However, for N2O all models simulated a too early minimum by 2 to 3 months owing to errors in the seasonal cycle in the prior soil emissions, which was not adequately represented by the terrestrial biosphere model. In the Southern Hemisphere, most models failed to capture the N2O and CFC-12 seasonality at Cape Grim, Tasmania, and all failed at the South Pole, whereas for SF6, all models could capture the seasonality at all sites, suggesting that there are large errors in modelled vertical transport in high southern latitudes.

Thompson, RL, Chevallier F, Crotwell AM, Dutton G, Langenfelds RL, Prinn RG, Weiss RF, Tohjima Y, Nakazawa T, Krummel PB, Steele LP, Fraser P, O'Doherty S, Ishijima K, Aoki S.  2014.  Nitrous oxide emissions 1999 to 2009 from a global atmospheric inversion. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 14:1801-1817.   10.5194/acp-14-1801-2014   AbstractWebsite

N2O surface fluxes were estimated for 1999 to 2009 using a time-dependent Bayesian inversion technique. Observations were drawn from 5 different networks, incorporating 59 surface sites and a number of ship-based measurement series. To avoid biases in the inverted fluxes, the data were adjusted to a common scale and scale offsets were included in the optimization problem. The fluxes were calculated at the same resolution as the transport model (3.75 degrees longitude x 2.5 degrees latitude) and at monthly time resolution. Over the 11-year period, the global total N2O source varied from 17.5 to 20.1 Tg a(-1) N. Tropical and subtropical land regions were found to consistently have the highest N2O emissions, in particular in South Asia (20 +/- 3% of global total), South America (13 +/- 4 %) and Africa (19 +/- 3 %), while emissions from temperate regions were smaller: Europe (6 +/- 1 %) and North America (7 +/- 2 %). A significant multi-annual trend in N2O emissions (0.045 Tg a(-2) N) from South Asia was found and confirms inventory estimates of this trend. Considerable interannual variability in the global N2O source was observed (0.8 Tg a(-1) N, 1 standard deviation, SD) and was largely driven by variability in tropical and subtropical soil fluxes, in particular in South America (0.3 Tg a(-1) N, 1 SD) and Africa (0.3 Tg a(-1) N, 1 SD). Notable variability was also found for N2O fluxes in the tropical and southern oceans (0.15 and 0.2 Tg a(-1) N, 1 SD, respectively). Interannual variability in the N2O source shows some correlation with the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), where El Nino conditions are associated with lower N2O fluxes from soils and from the ocean and vice versa for La Nina conditions.

2013
Thompson, RL, Dlugokencky E, Chevallier F, Ciais P, Dutton G, Elkins JW, Langenfelds RL, Prinn RG, Weiss RF, Tohjima Y, O'Doherty S, Krummel PB, Fraser P, Steele LP.  2013.  Interannual variability in tropospheric nitrous oxide. Geophysical Research Letters. 40:4426-4431.   10.1002/grl.50721   AbstractWebsite

Observations of tropospheric N2O mixing ratio show significant variability on interannual timescales (0.2ppb, 1 standard deviation). We found that interannual variability in N2O is weakly correlated with that in CFC-12 and SF6 for the northern extratropics and more strongly correlated for the southern extratropics, suggesting that interannual variability in all these species is influenced by large-scale atmospheric circulation changes and, for SF6 in particular, interhemispheric transport. N2O interannual variability was not, however, correlated with polar lower stratospheric temperature, which is used as a proxy for stratosphere-to-troposphere transport in the extratropics. This suggests that stratosphere-to-troposphere transport is not a dominant factor in year-to-year variations in N2O growth rate. Instead, we found strong correlations of N2O interannual variability with the Multivariate ENSO Index. The climate variables, precipitation, soil moisture, and temperature were also found to be significantly correlated with N2O interannual variability, suggesting that climate-driven changes in soil N2O flux may be important for variations in N2O growth rate.

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.

2010
Severinghaus, JP, Albert MR, Courville ZR, Fahnestock MA, Kawamura K, Montzka SA, Muhle J, Scambos TA, Shields E, Shuman CA, Suwa M, Tans P, Weiss RF.  2010.  Deep air convection in the firn at a zero-accumulation site, central Antarctica. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 293:359-367.   10.1016/j.epsl.2010.03.003   AbstractWebsite

Ice cores provide unique archives of past atmospheres and climate, but interpretation of trapped-gas records and their climatic significance has been hampered by a poor knowledge of the prevalence of air convection in the firn layer on top of polar ice sheets. In particular, the phasing of greenhouse gases and climate from ice cores has been obscured by a discrepancy between empirical and model-based estimates of the age difference between trapped gases and enclosing ice, which may be due to air convection. Here we show that deep air convection (>23 m) occurs at a windy, near-zero-accumulation rate site in central Antarctica known informally as the Megadunes site (80.77914 degrees S, 124.48796 degrees E). Deep convection is evident in depth profiles of air withdrawn from the firn layer, in the observed pattern of the nitrogen isotope ratio (15)N/(14)N, the argon isotope ratio (40)Ar/(36)Ar, and in the mixing ratios of the anthropogenic halocarbons methyl chloroform (CH(3)CCl(3)) and HFC-134a (CH(2)FCF(3)). Transport parameters (diffusivities) were inferred and air was dated using measured carbon dioxide (CO(2)) and methane (CH(4)) mixing ratios, by comparing with the Law Dome atmospheric record, which shows that these are the oldest firn air samples ever recovered (CO(2) mean age = 1863 AD). The low accumulation rate and the consequent intense metamorphism of the firn (due to prolonged exposure to seasonal temperature cycling) likely contribute to deep air convection via large grain size and vertical cracks that act as conduits for vigorous air motion. The Megadunes site provides a possible modern analog for the glacial conditions in the Vostok, Dome Fuji, and Dome C ice core records and a possible explanation for lower-than-expected (15)N/(14)N ratios in trapped air bubbles at these times. A general conclusion is that very low accumulation rate causes deep air convection via its effect on firn structural characteristics. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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.