Solving the carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) budget mystery using surface observations

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 11:50 AM
Qing Liang1, Paul A. Newman2, John S Daniel3, Stefan Reimann4, Brad David Hall3, Geoffrey S Dutton5 and Lambert J. M. Kuijpers6, (1)USRA GESTAR/NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (2)NASA GSFC, Code 610, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (3)NOAA Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, (4)Empa, Duebendorf, Switzerland, (5)NOAA, Boulder, CO, United States, (6)Technical University Eindhoven, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) is a major anthropogenic ozone-depleting substance, with an ozone depletion potential (with respect to CFC-11) of 0.82. CCl4 is also a greenhouse gas and the 100-yr global warming potential is 1,400. In 1987, the Montreal Protocol (MP) included CCl4, and production and consumption were phased out for developed countries in 1996. Developing countries were allowed a delayed reduction, but CCl4 was fully phased out from emissive uses in 2010. However, the near-zero 2007-2012 emissions estimate based on the UNEP reported production and feedstock usage cannot be reconciled with the observed slow decline of atmospheric concentrations, year-to-year variability, and the inter-hemispheric gradient (IHG). We use available source and sink data in the NASA 3-Dimensional (3-D) Chemistry Climate Model, GEOSCCM, to test existing emissions and lifetime estimates against CCl4 mixing ratio observations. Our model results show that the IHG and global trend provide useful information for quantitatively constraining CCl4 emissions and lifetime estimates. The observed IHG (1.5±0.2 ppt for 2000-2012) is primarily caused by ongoing current emissions, while ocean and soil losses and stratosphere-troposphere exchange together contribute a small negative gradient (~0 - -0.3 ppt). Using the observed CCl4 global trend and IHG from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – Global Monitoring Division (NOAA-GMD) and Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) networks, we deduce the mean global emissions for the 2000-2012 period are 39 (34-45, lower-upper limit emission estimates) Gg/yr (~ 30% of the peak 1980s emissions) and a corresponding total lifetime of 35 (37-32, upper-lower limit lifetime estimates) years. These results point to the need for a more accurate bottom-up estimate of CCl4 emissions as well as re-evaluation of the CCl4 best estimate lifetime (currently 25 years).