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Lucas, DD, Yver Kwok C, Cameron-Smith P, Graven H, Bergmann D, Guilderson TP, Weiss R, Keeling R.  2015.  Designing optimal greenhouse gas observing networks that consider performance and cost. Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst.. 4:121-137.: Copernicus Publications   10.5194/gi-4-121-2015   AbstractWebsite
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.

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

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

Deeds, DA, Kulongoski JT, Mühle J, Weiss RF.  2015.  Tectonic activity as a significant source of crustal tetrafluoromethane emissions to the atmosphere: Observations in groundwaters along the San Andreas Fault. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 412:163-172.   10.1016/j.epsl.2014.12.016   AbstractWebsite

Tetrafluoromethane (CF4) concentrations were measured in 14 groundwater samples from the Cuyama Valley, Mil Potrero and Cuddy Valley aquifers along the Big Bend section of the San Andreas Fault System (SAFS) in California to assess whether tectonic activity in this region is a significant source of crustal CF4 to the atmosphere. Dissolved CF4 concentrations in all groundwater samples but one were elevated with respect to estimated recharge concentrations including entrainment of excess air during recharge ( C r e ; ∼30 fmol kg−1 H2O), indicating subsurface addition of CF4 to these groundwaters. Groundwaters in the Cuyama Valley contain small CF4 excesses (0.1–9 times C r e ), which may be attributed to an in situ release from weathering and a minor addition of deep crustal CF4 introduced to the shallow groundwater through nearby faults. CF4 excesses in groundwaters within 200 m of the SAFS are larger (10–980 times C r e ) and indicate the presence of a deep crustal flux of CF4 that is likely associated with the physical alteration of silicate minerals in the shear zone of the SAFS. Extrapolating CF4 flux rates observed in this study to the full extent of the SAFS (1300 km × 20–100 km) suggests that the SAFS potentially emits ( 0.3 – 1 ) × 10 − 1 kg CF4 yr−1 to the Earth's surface. For comparison, the chemical weathering of ∼ 7.5 × 10 4 km 2 of granitic rock in California is estimated to release ( 0.019 – 3.2 ) × 10 − 1 kg CF4 yr−1. Tectonic activity is likely an important, and potentially the dominant, driver of natural emissions of CF4 to the atmosphere. Variations in preindustrial atmospheric CF4 as observed in paleo-archives such as ice cores may therefore represent changes in both continental weathering and tectonic activity, including changes driven by variations in continental ice cover during glacial–interglacial transitions.

Fraser, PJ, Dunse BL, Manning AJ, Walsh S, Wang HRJ, Krummel PB, Steele PL, Porter LW, Allison C, O’Doherty S, Simmonds PG, Mühle J, Weiss RF, Prinn RG.  2014.  Australian carbon tetrachloride emissions in a global context. Environmental Chemistry. 11:77-88.   10.1071/EN13171   AbstractWebsite

Global (1978–2012) and Australian (1996–2011) carbon tetrachloride emissions are estimated from atmospheric observations of CCl4 using data from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) global network, in particular from Cape Grim, Tasmania. Global and Australian emissions are in decline in response to Montreal Protocol restrictions on CCl4 production and consumption for dispersive uses in the developed and developing world. However, atmospheric data-derived emissions are significantly larger than ‘bottom-up’ estimates from direct and indirect CCl4 production, CCl4 transportation and use. Australian CCl4 emissions are not a result of these sources, and the identification of the origin of Australian emissions may provide a clue to the origin of some of these ‘missing’ global sources.

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

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

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, Rigby M, Muhle J, Ivy DJ, Miller BR, Young D, Simmonds PG, Reimann S, Vollmer MK, Krummel PB, Fraser PJ, Steele LP, Dunse B, Salameh PK, Harth CM, Arnold T, Weiss RF, Kim J, Park S, Li S, Lunder C, Hermansen O, Schmidbauer N, Zhou LX, Yao B, Wang RHJ, Manning AJ, Prinn RG.  2014.  Global emissions of HFC-143a (CH3CF3) and HFC-32 (CH2F2) from in situ and air archive atmospheric observations. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 14:9249-9258.   10.5194/acp-14-9249-2014   AbstractWebsite

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

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.

Kim, J, Fraser PJ, Li S, Muhle J, Ganesan AL, Krummel PB, Steele LP, Park S, Kim SK, Park MK, Arnold T, Harth CM, Salameh PK, Prinn RG, Weiss RF, Kim KR.  2014.  Quantifying aluminum and semiconductor industry perfluorocarbon emissions from atmospheric measurements. Geophysical Research Letters. 41:4787-4794.   10.1002/2014gl059783   AbstractWebsite

The potent anthropogenic perfluorocarbon greenhouse gases tetrafluoromethane (CF4) and hexafluoroethane (C2F6) are emitted to the atmosphere mainly by the aluminum and semiconductor industries. Global emissions of these perfluorocarbons (PFCs) calculated from atmospheric measurements are significantly greater than expected from reported national and industry-based emission inventories. In this study, in situ measurements of the two PFCs in the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment network are used to show that their emission ratio varies according to the relative regional presence of these two industries, providing an industry-specific emission "signature" to apportion the observed emissions. Our results suggest that underestimated emissions from the global semiconductor industry during 1990-2010, as well as from China's aluminum industry after 2002, account for the observed differences between emissions based on atmospheric measurements and on inventories. These differences are significant despite the large uncertainties in emissions based on the methodologies used by these industries.

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.

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

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

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, 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.

Welp, LR, Keeling RF, Weiss RF, Paplawsky W, Heckman S.  2013.  Design and performance of a Nafion dryer for continuous operation at CO2 and CH4 air monitoring sites. Atmos. Meas. Tech.. 6:1217-1226.: Copernicus Publications   10.5194/amt-6-1217-2013   AbstractWebsite

In preparation for routine deployment in a network of greenhouse gas monitoring stations, we have designed and tested a simple method for drying ambient air to near or below 0.2% (2000 ppm) mole fraction H2O using a Nafion dryer. The inlet system was designed for use with cavity ring-down spectrometer (CRDS) analyzers such as the Picarro model G2301 that measure H2O in addition to their principal analytes, in this case CO2 and CH4. These analyzers report dry-gas mixing ratios without drying the sample by measuring H2O mixing ratio at the same frequency as the main analytes, and then correcting for the dilution and peak broadening effects of H2O on the mixing ratios of the other analytes measured in moist air. However, it is difficult to accurately validate the water vapor correction in the field. By substantially lowering the amount of H2O in the sample, uncertainties in the applied water vapor corrections can be reduced by an order of magnitude or more, thus eliminating the need to determine instrument-specific water vapor correction coefficients and to verify the stability over time. Our Nafion drying inlet system takes advantage of the extra capacity of the analyzer pump to redirect 30% of the dry gas exiting the Nafion to the outer shell side of the dryer and has no consumables. We tested the Nafion dryer against a cryotrap (−97 °C) method for removing H2O and found that in wet-air tests, the Nafion reduces the CO2 dry-gas mixing ratios of the sample gas by as much as 0.1 ± 0.01 ppm due to leakage across the membrane. The effect on CH4 was smaller and varied within ± 0.2 ppb, with an approximate uncertainty of 0.1 ppb. The Nafion-induced CO2 bias is partially offset by sending the dry reference gases through the Nafion dryer as well. The residual bias due to the impact of moisture differences between sample and reference gas on the permeation through the Nafion was approximately −0.05 ppm for CO2 and varied within ± 0.2 ppb for CH4. The uncertainty of this partial drying method is within the WMO compatibility guidelines for the Northern Hemisphere, 0.1 ppm for CO2 and 2 ppb for CH4, and is comparable to experimentally determining water vapor corrections for each instrument but less subject to concerns of possible drift in these corrections.

Arnold, T, Harth CM, Mühle J, Manning AJ, Salameh PK, Kim J, Ivy DJ, Steele PL, Petrenko VV, Severinghaus JP, Baggenstos D, Weiss RF.  2013.  Nitrogen trifluoride global emissions estimated from updated atmospheric measurements. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.   10.1073/pnas.1212346110   AbstractWebsite

Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) has potential to make a growing contribution to the Earth’s radiative budget; however, our understanding of its atmospheric burden and emission rates has been limited. Based on a revision of our previous calibration and using an expanded set of atmospheric measurements together with an atmospheric model and inverse method, we estimate that the global emissions of NF3 in 2011 were 1.18 ± 0.21 Gg⋅y−1, or ∼20 Tg CO2-eq⋅y−1 (carbon dioxide equivalent emissions based on a 100-y global warming potential of 16,600 for NF3). The 2011 global mean tropospheric dry air mole fraction was 0.86 ± 0.04 parts per trillion, resulting from an average emissions growth rate of 0.09 Gg⋅y−2 over the prior decade. In terms of CO2 equivalents, current NF3 emissions represent between 17% and 36% of the emissions of other long-lived fluorinated compounds from electronics manufacture. We also estimate that the emissions benefit of using NF3 over hexafluoroethane (C2F6) in electronics manufacture is significant—emissions of between 53 and 220 Tg CO2-eq⋅y−1 were avoided during 2011. Despite these savings, total NF3 emissions, currently ∼10% of production, are still significantly larger than expected assuming global implementation of ideal industrial practices. As such, there is a continuing need for improvements in NF3 emissions reduction strategies to keep pace with its increasing use and to slow its rising contribution to anthropogenic climate forcing.

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).

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.

Simmonds, PG, Manning AJ, Athanassiadou M, Scaife AA, Derwent RG, O'Doherty S, Harth CM, Weiss RF, Dutton GS, Hall BD, Sweeney C, Elkins JW.  2013.  Interannual fluctuations in the seasonal cycle of nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons due to the Brewer-Dobson circulation. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 118:10694-10706.   10.1002/jgrd.50832   AbstractWebsite

The tropospheric seasonal cycles of N2O, CFC-11 (CCl3F), and CFC-12 (CCl2F2) are influenced by atmospheric dynamics. The interannually varying summertime minima in mole fractions of these trace gases have been attributed to interannual variations in mixing of stratospheric air (depleted in CFCs and N2O) with tropospheric air with a few months lag. The amount of wave activity that drives the stratospheric circulation and influences the winter stratospheric jet and subsequent mass transport across the tropopause appears to be the primary cause of this interannual variability. We relate the observed seasonal minima of species at three Northern Hemisphere sites (Mace Head, Ireland; Trinidad Head, U.S.; and Barrow, Alaska) with the behavior of the winter stratospheric jet. As a result, a good correlation is obtained between zonal winds in winter at 10 hPa, 58°N–68°N, and the detrended seasonal minima in the stratosphere-influenced tracers. For these three tracers, individual Pearson correlation coefficients (r) between 0.51 and 0.71 were found, with overall correlations of between 0.67 and 0.77 when “composite species” were considered. Finally, we note that the long-term observations of CFCs and N2O in the troposphere provide an independent monitoring method complementary to satellite data. Furthermore, they could provide a useful observational measure of the strength of stratosphere-troposphere exchange and, thus, could be used to monitor any long-term trend in the Brewer-Dobson circulation which is predicted by climate models to increase over the coming decades.

Ganesan, AL, Chatterjee A, Prinn RG, Harth CM, Salameh PK, Manning AJ, Hall BD, Mühle J, Meredith LK, Weiss RF, O'Doherty S, Young D.  2013.  The variability of methane, nitrous oxide and sulfur hexafluoride in Northeast India. Atmos. Chem. Phys.. 13:10633-10644.: Copernicus Publications   10.5194/acp-13-10633-2013   AbstractWebsite

High-frequency atmospheric measurements of methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) from Darjeeling, India are presented from December 2011 (CH4)/March 2012 (N2O and SF6) through February 2013. These measurements were made on a gas chromatograph equipped with a flame ionization detector and electron capture detector, and were calibrated on the Tohoku University, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO)-98 and SIO-2005 scales for CH4, N2O and SF6, respectively. The observations show large variability and frequent pollution events in CH4 and N2O mole fractions, suggesting significant sources in the regions sampled by Darjeeling throughout the year. By contrast, SF6 mole fractions show little variability and only occasional pollution episodes, likely due to weak sources in the region. Simulations using the Numerical Atmospheric dispersion Modelling Environment (NAME) particle dispersion model suggest that many of the enhancements in the three gases result from the transport of pollutants from the densely populated Indo-Gangetic Plains of India to Darjeeling. The meteorology of the region varies considerably throughout the year from Himalayan flows in the winter to the strong south Asian summer monsoon. The model is consistent in simulating a diurnal cycle in CH4 and N2O mole fractions that is present during the winter but absent in the summer and suggests that the signals measured at Darjeeling are dominated by large-scale (~100 km) flows rather than local (<10 km) flows.

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.