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Xiang, B, Patra PK, Montzka SA, Miller SM, Elkins JW, Moore FL, Atlas EL, Miller BR, Weiss RF, Prinn RG, Wofsy SC.  2014.  Global emissions of refrigerants HCFC-22 and HFC-134a: Unforeseen seasonal contributions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 111:17379-17384.   10.1073/pnas.1417372111   AbstractWebsite

HCFC-22 (CHClF2) and HFC-134a (CH2FCF3) are two major gases currently used worldwide in domestic and commercial refrigeration and air conditioning. HCFC-22 contributes to stratospheric ozone depletion, and both species are potent greenhouse gases. In this work, we study in situ observations of HCFC-22 and HFC-134a taken from research aircraft over the Pacific Ocean in a 3-y span [Hlaper-Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO) 2009-2011] and combine these data with long-term ground observations from global surface sites [ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) networks]. We find the global annual emissions of HCFC-22 and HFC-134a have increased substantially over the past two decades. Emissions of HFC-134a are consistently higher compared with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) inventory since 2000, by 60% more in recent years (2009-2012). Apart from these decadal emission constraints, we also quantify recent seasonal emission patterns showing that summertime emissions of HCFC-22 and HFC-134a are two to three times higher than wintertime emissions. This unforeseen large seasonal variation indicates that unaccounted mechanisms controlling refrigerant gas emissions are missing in the existing inventory estimates. Possible mechanisms enhancing refrigerant losses in summer are (i) higher vapor pressure in the sealed compartment of the system at summer high temperatures and (ii) more frequent use and service of refrigerators and air conditioners in summer months. Our results suggest that engineering (e. g., better temperature/vibration-resistant system sealing and new system design of more compact/efficient components) and regulatory (e. g., reinforcing system service regulations) steps to improve containment of these gases from working devices could effectively reduce their release to the atmosphere.

O'Doherty, S, Cunnold DM, Manning A, Miller BR, Wang RHJ, Krummel PB, Fraser PJ, Simmonds PG, McCulloch A, Weiss RF, Salameh P, Porter LW, Prinn RG, Huang J, Sturrock G, Ryall D, Derwent RG, Montzka SA.  2004.  Rapid growth of hydrofluorocarbon 134a and hydrochlorofluorocarbons 141b, 142b, and 22 from Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) observations at Cape Grim, Tasmania, and Mace Head, Ireland. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 109   10.1029/2003jd004277   AbstractWebsite

[1] An update of in situ Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)/hydrochlorofluorocarbon ( HCFC) measurements made at Mace Head, Ireland, and Cape Grim, Tasmania, from 1998 to 2002 are reported. HCFC-142b, HCFC-141b, HCFC-22 and HFC-134a show continued rapid growth in the atmosphere at mean rates of 1.1, 1.6, 6.0, and 3.4 ppt/year, respectively. Emissions inferred from measurements are compared to recent estimates from consumption data. Minor updates to the industry estimates of emissions are reported together with a discussion of how to best determine OH concentrations from these trace gas measurements. In addition, AGAGE measurements and derived emissions are compared to those deduced from NOAA-Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory flask measurements ( which are mostly made at different locations). European emission estimates obtained from Mace Head pollution events using the Nuclear Accident Model ( NAME) dispersion model and the best fit algorithm ( known as simulated annealing) are presented as 3-year rolling average emissions over Europe for the period 1999-2001. Finally, the measurements of HCFC-141b, HCFC-142b, and HCFC-22 discussed in this paper have been combined with the Atmospheric Lifetime Experiment (ALE)/Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (GAGE)/AGAGE measurements of CFC-11, CFC-12, CFC-113, CCl4, and CH3CCl3 to produce the evolution of tropospheric chlorine loading.