Atmospheric Lifetimes and Stratospheric Removal Rates for Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Destroying Substances from CO2-tracer relationships

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Steven C Wofsy1, Jasna V Pittman2, Qing Liang3, Bruce C Daube2, Paul A. Newman4, Elliot L Atlas5 and Arlyn E Andrews6, (1)Harvard Univ, Cambridge, MA, United States, (2)Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, United States, (3)USRA GESTAR/NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (4)NASA GSFC, Code 610, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (5)University Miami, Miami, FL, United States, (6)NOAA Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States
The long-term observations of atmospheric CO2 in the NOAA network provide an absolute time scale for global atmospheric processes. In this paper we combine observations of CO2, CO and CH4 to create the quantity C* that is conserved in the stratosphere, and develop relationships suitable for accurate determination of the absolute removal rates and lifetimes for Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Destroying Substances. Stratospheric missions spanning more than 20 years, from SPADE (1992) through SEAC4RS (2013) and including both balloon and aircraft data, are utilized. The Goddard implementation of GEOS-5 is applied to make the corrections required to account for the CO2 seasonal cycle and inhomogeneous stratospheric loss rates, and to place the results in a mechanistic context.