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

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

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

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

Elvidge, EL, Bonisch H, Brenninkmeijer CAM, Engel A, Fraser PJ, Gallacher E, Langenfelds R, Muhle J, Oram DE, Ray EA, Ridley AR, Rockmann T, Sturges WT, Weiss RF, Laube JC.  2018.  Evaluation of stratospheric age of air from CF4, C2F6, C3F8, CHF3, HFC-125, HFC-227ea and SF6; implications for the calculations of halocarbon lifetimes, fractional release factors and ozone depletion potentials. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 18:3369-3385.   10.5194/acp-18-3369-2018   AbstractWebsite

In a changing climate, potential stratospheric circulation changes require long-term monitoring. Stratospheric trace gas measurements are often used as a proxy for stratospheric circulation changes via the "mean age of air" values derived from them. In this study, we investigated five potential age of air tracers - the perfluorocarbons CF4, C2F6 and C3F8 and the hydrofluorocarbons CHF3 (HFC-23) and HFC-125 - and compare them to the traditional tracer SF6 and a (relatively) shorter-lived species, HFC-227ea. A detailed uncertainty analysis was performed on mean ages derived from these "new" tracers to allow us to confidently compare their efficacy as age tracers to the existing tracer, SF6. Our results showed that uncertainties associated with the mean age derived from these new age tracers are similar to those derived from SF6, suggesting that these alternative compounds are suitable in this respect for use as age tracers. Independent verification of the suitability of these age tracers is provided by a comparison between samples analysed at the University of East Anglia and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. All five tracers give younger mean ages than SF6, a discrepancy that increases with increasing mean age. Our findings qualitatively support recent work that suggests that the stratospheric lifetime of SF6 is significantly less than the previous estimate of 3200 years. The impact of these younger mean ages on three policy-relevant parameters - stratospheric lifetimes, fractional release factors (FRFs) and ozone depletion potentials - is investigated in combination with a recently improved methodology to calculate FRFs. Updates to previous estimations for these parameters are provided.

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 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).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Fraser, A, Palmer PI, Feng L, Boesch H, Cogan A, Parker R, Dlugokencky EJ, Fraser PJ, Krummel PB, Langenfelds RL, O'Doherty S, Prinn RG, Steele LP, van der Schoot M, Weiss RF.  2013.  Estimating regional methane surface fluxes: the relative importance of surface and GOSAT mole fraction measurements. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 13:5697-5713.   10.5194/acp-13-5697-2013   AbstractWebsite

We use an ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF), together with the GEOS-Chem chemistry transport model, to estimate regional monthly methane (CH4) fluxes for the period June 2009-December 2010 using proxy dry-air column-averaged mole fractions of methane (XCH4) from GOSAT (Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite) and/or NOAA ESRL (Earth System Research Laboratory) and CSIRO GASLAB (Global Atmospheric Sampling Laboratory) CH4 surface mole fraction measurements. Global posterior estimates using GOSAT and/or surface measurements are between 510-516 Tg yr(-1), which is less than, though within the uncertainty of, the prior global flux of 529 +/- 25 Tg yr(-1). We find larger differences between regional prior and posterior fluxes, with the largest changes in monthly emissions (75 Tg yr(-1)) occurring in Temperate Eurasia. In non-boreal regions the error reductions for inversions using the GOSAT data are at least three times larger (up to 45 %) than if only surface data are assimilated, a reflection of the greater spatial coverage of GOSAT, with the two exceptions of latitudes >60 degrees associated with a data filter and over Europe where the surface network adequately describes fluxes on our model spatial and temporal grid. We use CarbonTracker and GEOS-Chem XCO2 model output to investigate model error on quantifying proxy GOSAT XCH4 (involving model XCO2) and inferring methane flux estimates from surface mole fraction data and show similar resulting fluxes, with differences reflecting initial differences in the proxy value. Using a series of observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs) we characterize the posterior flux error introduced by non-uniform atmospheric sampling by GOSAT. We show that clear-sky measurements can theoretically reproduce fluxes within 10% of true values, with the exception of tropical regions where, due to a large seasonal cycle in the number of measurements because of clouds and aerosols, fluxes are within 15% of true fluxes. We evaluate our posterior methane fluxes by incorporating them into GEOS-Chem and sampling the model at the location and time of surface CH4 measurements from the AGAGE (Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment) network and column XCH4 measurements from TCCON (Total Carbon Column Observing Network). The posterior fluxes modestly improve the model agreement with AGAGE and TCCON data relative to prior fluxes, with the correlation coefficients (r(2)) increasing by a mean of 0.04 (range: -0.17 to 0.23) and the biases decreasing by a mean of 0.4 ppb (range: -8.9 to 8.4 ppb).

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.

Kim, J, Li S, Muhle J, Stohl A, Kim SK, Park S, Park MK, Weiss RF, Kim KR.  2012.  Overview of the findings from measurements of halogenated compounds at Gosan (Jeju Island, Korea) quantifying emissions in East Asia. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences. 9:71-80.   10.1080/1943815x.2012.696548   AbstractWebsite

With increased economic growth in East Asia, regional emissions of many anthropogenic halogenated compounds now constitute a substantial fraction of the global totals. Here, we summarize recently reported findings from measurements of a wide range of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and other halogenated compounds at Gosan (Jeju Island, Korea) within the advanced global atmospheric gases experiment (AGAGE). General wind patterns at Gosan bring air masses from the surrounding areas, allowing the monitoring of both clean baseline and polluted air masses. We have analyzed our measurements since November 2007 both with an interspecies correlation method and with an inversion method based on the FLEXPART Lagrangian particle dispersion model to estimate these regional emissions. The results show that emissions of halogenated compounds in East Asia account for over 20% of global emissions, both in terms of ozone depletion potential (ODP) and global warming potential (GWP), and emphasize the importance of atmospheric measurements for quantifying emissions of these compounds in this region.

Arnold, T, Muhle J, Salameh PK, Harth CM, Ivy DJ, Weiss RF.  2012.  Automated measurement of nitrogen trifluoride in ambient air. Analytical Chemistry. 84:4798-4804.   10.1021/ac300373e   AbstractWebsite

We present an analytical method for the in situ measurement of atmospheric nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), an anthropogenic gas with a 100-year global warming potential of over 16 000. This potent greenhouse gas has a rising atmospheric abundance due to its emission from a growing number of manufacturing processes and an expanding end-use market. Here we present a modified version of the "Medusa" preconcentration gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) system of Miller, B. R.; Weiss, R. F.; Salameh, P. K.; Tanhua, T.; Greally, B. R; Male, J.; Simmonds, P. G. Anal. Chem. 2008, 80 (5), 1536-1545. By altering the techniques of gas separation and chromatography after initial preconcentration, we are now able to make atmospheric measurements of NF3 with relative precision <2% (1 sigma) for current background clean air samples. Importantly, this method augments the currently operational Medusa system, so that the quality of data for species already being measured is not compromised and NF3 is measured from the same preconcentrated sample. We present the first in situ measurements of NF3 from La Jolla, California made 11 times daily, illustrating how global deployment of this technique within the AGAGE (Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment) network could facilitate estimation of global and regional NF3 emissions over the coming years.

Nevison, CD, Dlugokencky E, Dutton G, Elkins JW, Fraser P, Hall B, Krummel PB, Langenfelds RL, O'Doherty S, Prinn RG, Steele LP, Weiss RF.  2011.  Exploring causes of interannual variability in the seasonal cycles of tropospheric nitrous oxide. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 11:3713-3730.   10.5194/acp-11-3713-2011   AbstractWebsite

Seasonal cycles in the mixing ratios of tropospheric nitrous oxide (N(2)O) are derived by detrending long-term measurements made at sites across four global surface monitoring networks. The detrended monthly data display large interannual variability, which at some sites challenges the concept of a "mean" seasonal cycle. In the Northern Hemisphere, correlations between polar winter lower stratospheric temperature and detrended N(2)O data, around the month of the seasonal minimum, provide empirical evidence for a stratospheric influence, which varies in strength from year to year and can explain much of the interannual variability in the surface seasonal cycle. Even at sites where a strong, competing, regional N(2)O source exists, such as from coastal upwelling at Trinidad Head, California, the stratospheric influence must be understood to interpret the biogeochemical signal in monthly mean data. In the Southern Hemisphere, detrended surface N(2)O monthly means are correlated with polar spring lower stratospheric temperature in months preceding the N(2)O minimum, providing empirical evidence for a coherent stratospheric influence in that hemisphere as well, in contrast to some recent atmospheric chemical transport model (ACTM) results. Correlations between the phasing of the surface N(2)O seasonal cycle in both hemispheres and both polar lower stratospheric temperature and polar vortex break-up date provide additional support for a stratospheric influence. The correlations discussed above are generally more evident in high-frequency in situ data than in data from weekly flask samples. Furthermore, the interannual variability in the N(2)O seasonal cycle is not always correlated among in situ and flask networks that share common sites, nor do the mean seasonal amplitudes always agree. The importance of abiotic influences such as the stratospheric influx and tropospheric transport on N(2)O seasonal cycles suggests that, at sites remote from local sources, surface N(2)O mixing ratio data by themselves are unlikely to provide information about seasonality in surface sources, e. g., for atmospheric inversions, unless the ACTMs employed in the inversions accurately account for these influences. An additional abioitc influence is the seasonal ingassing and outgassing of cooling and warming surface waters, which creates a thermal signal in tropospheric N(2)O that is of particular importance in the extratropical Southern Hemisphere, where it competes with the biological ocean source signal.

Muhle, J, Huang J, Weiss RF, Prinn RG, Miller BR, Salameh PK, Harth CM, Fraser PJ, Porter LW, Greally BR, O'Doherty S, Simmonds PG.  2009.  Sulfuryl fluoride in the global atmosphere. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 114   10.1029/2008jd011162   AbstractWebsite

The first calibrated high-frequency, high-precision, in situ atmospheric and archived air measurements of the fumigant sulfuryl fluoride (SO(2)F(2)) have been made as part of the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gas Experiment (AGAGE) program. The global tropospheric background concentration of SO(2)F(2) has increased by 5 +/- 1% per year from similar to 0.3 ppt (parts per trillion, dry air mol fraction) in 1978 to similar to 1.35 ppt in May 2007 in the Southern Hemisphere, and from similar to 1.08 ppt in 1999 to similar to 1.53 ppt in May 2007 in the Northern Hemisphere. The SO(2)F(2) interhemispheric concentration ratio was 1.13 +/- 0.02 from 1999 to 2007. Two-dimensional 12-box model inversions yield global total and global oceanic uptake atmospheric lifetimes of 36 +/- 11 and 40 +/- 13 years, respectively, with hydrolysis in the ocean being the dominant sink, in good agreement with 35 +/- 14 years from a simple oceanic uptake calculation using transfer velocity and solubility. Modeled SO2F2 emissions rose from similar to 0.6 Gg/a in 1978 to similar to 1.9 Gg/a in 2007, but estimated industrial production exceeds these modeled emissions by an average of similar to 50%. This discrepancy cannot be explained with a hypothetical land sink in the model, suggesting that only similar to 2/3 of the manufactured SO(2)F(2) is actually emitted into the atmosphere and that similar to 1/3 may be destroyed during fumigation. With mean SO(2)F(2) tropospheric mixing ratios of similar to 1.4 ppt, its radiative forcing is small and it is probably an insignificant sulfur source to the stratosphere. However, with a high global warming potential similar to CFC-11, and likely increases in its future use, continued atmospheric monitoring of SO(2)F(2) is warranted.

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

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

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.

Miller, BR, Weiss RF, Salameh PK, Tanhua T, Greally BR, Muhle J, Simmonds PG.  2008.  Medusa: A sample preconcentration and GC/MS detector system for in situ measurements of atmospheric trace halocarbons, hydrocarbons, and sulfur compounds. Analytical Chemistry. 80:1536-1545.   10.1021/ac702084k   AbstractWebsite

Significant changes have occurred in the anthropogenic emissions of many compounds related to the Kyoto and Montreal Protocols within the past 20 years and many of their atmospheric abundances have responded dramatically. Additionally, there are a number of related natural compounds with underdetermined source or sink budgets. A new instrument, Medusa, was developed to make the high frequency in situ measurements required for the determination of the atmospheric lifetimes and emissions of these compounds. This automated system measures a wide range of halocarbons, hydrocarbons, and sulfur compounds involved in ozone depletion and/or climate forcing, from the very volatile perfluorocarbons (PFCs, e.g., CF(4) and CF(3)CF(3)) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs, e.g., CH(3)CF(3)) to the higher-boiling point solvents (such as CH(3)CCl(3) and CCl(2)= CCl(2)) and CHBr(3). A network of Medusa systems worldwide provides 12 in situ ambient air measurements per day of more than 38 compounds of part per trillion mole fractions and precisions up to 0.1% RSD at the five remote field stations operated by the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE). Ihis custom system couples gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MSD) with a novel scheme for cryogen-free low-temperature preconcentration (-165 degrees C) of analytes from 2 L samples in a two-trap process using HayeSep D adsorbent.

Nevison, CD, Keeling RF, Weiss RF, Popp BN, Jin X, Fraser PJ, Porter LW, Hess PG.  2005.  Southern Ocean ventilation inferred from seasonal cycles of atmospheric N2O and O2/N2 at Cape Grim, Tasmania. Tellus Series B-Chemical and Physical Meteorology. 57:218-229.   10.1111/j.1600-0889.2005.00143.x   AbstractWebsite

The seasonal cycle of atmospheric N(2)O is derived from a 10-yr observational record at Cape Grim, Tasmania (41 degrees S, 145 degrees E). After correcting for thermal and stratospheric influences, the observed atmospheric seasonal cycle is consistent with the seasonal outgassing of microbially produced N(2)O from the Southern Ocean, as predicted by an ocean biogeochemistry model coupled to an atmospheric transport model (ATM). The model-observation comparison suggests a Southern Ocean N(2)O source of similar to 0.9 Tg N yr(-1) and is the first study to reproduce observed atmospheric seasonal cycles in N(2)O using specified surface sources in forward ATM runs. However, these results are sensitive to the thermal and stratospheric corrections applied to the atmospheric N(2)O data. The correlation in subsurface waters between apparent oxygen utilization (AOU) and N(2)O production (approximated as the concentration in excess of atmospheric equilibrium Delta N(2)O) is exploited to infer the atmospheric seasonal cycle in O(2)/N(2) due to ventilation of O(2)-depleted subsurface waters. Subtracting this cycle from the observed, thermally corrected seasonal cycle in atmospheric O(2)/N(2) allows the residual O(2)/N(2) signal from surface net community production to be inferred. Because N(2)O is only produced in subsurface ocean waters, where it is correlated to O(2) consumption, atmospheric N(2)O observations provide a methodology for distinguishing the surface production and subsurface ventilation signals in atmospheric O(2)/N(2), which have previously been inseparable.

Simmonds, PG, Derwent RG, Manning AJ, Fraser PJ, Krummel PB, O'Doherty S, Prinn RG, Cunnold DM, Miller BR, Wang HJ, Ryall DB, Porter LW, Weiss RF, Salameh PK.  2004.  AGAGE observations of methyl bromide and methyl chloride at Mace Head, Ireland, and Cape Grim, Tasmania, 1998-2001. Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry. 47:243-269.   10.1023/B:JOCH.0000021136.52340.9c   AbstractWebsite

In situ AGAGE GC-MS measurements of methyl bromide (CH3Br) and methyl chloride (CH3Cl) at Mace Head, Ireland and Cape Grim, Tasmania (1998-2001) reveal a complex pattern of sources. At Mace Head both gases have well-defined seasonal cycles with similar average annual decreases of 3.0% yr(-1) (CH3Br) and 2.6% yr(-1) (CH3Cl), and mean northern hemisphere baseline mole fractions of 10.37 +/- 0.05 ppt and 535.7 +/- 2.2 ppt, respectively. We have used a Lagrangian dispersion model and local meteorological data to segregate the Mace Head observations into different source regions, and interpret the results in terms of the known sources and sinks of these two key halocarbons. At Cape Grim CH3Br and CH3Cl also show annual decreases in their baseline mixing ratios of 2.5% yr(-1) and 1.5% yr(-1), respectively. Mean baseline mole fractions were 7.94 +/- 0.03 ppt (CH3Br) and 541.3 +/- 1.1 ppt (CH3Cl). Although CH3Cl has a strong seasonal cycle there is no well-defined seasonal cycle in the Cape Grim CH3Br record. The fact that both gases are steadily decreasing in the atmosphere at both locations implies that a change has occurred which is affecting a common, major source of both gases (possibly biomass burning) and/or their major sink process (destruction by hydroxyl radical).

Lueker, TJ, Walker SJ, Vollmer MK, Keeling RF, Nevison CD, Weiss RF, Garcia HE.  2003.  Coastal upwelling air-sea fluxes revealed in atmospheric observations of O2/N2, CO2 and N2O. Geophysical Research Letters. 30   10.1029/2002gl016615   AbstractWebsite

[1] We capture water column ventilation resulting from coastal upwelling in continuous records of O-2/N-2, CO2, and N2O at Trinidad, California. Our records reveal the gas exchange response time of the ocean to the upwelling and ensuing biological production. Satellite and buoy wind data allow extrapolation of our records to assess coastal upwelling air-sea fluxes of O-2 and N2O. We improve on previous regional estimates of N2O flux in coastal and continental shelf region of the western U. S. We characterize the source of N2O as being predominately from nitrification based on the O-2/N2O emissions ratio observed in our atmospheric records.