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Volume 10, issue 2 | Copyright
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 985-1018, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-10-985-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Review article 06 Jun 2018

Review article | 06 Jun 2018

History of chemically and radiatively important atmospheric gases from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE)

Ronald G. Prinn1, Ray F. Weiss2, Jgor Arduini3, Tim Arnold4, H. Langley DeWitt1, Paul J. Fraser5, Anita L. Ganesan6, Jimmy Gasore7, Christina M. Harth2, Ove Hermansen8, Jooil Kim2, Paul B. Krummel5, Shanlan Li9, Zoë M. Loh5, Chris R. Lunder8, Michela Maione3, Alistair J. Manning10,11, Ben R. Miller12, Blagoj Mitrevski5, Jens Mühle2, Simon O'Doherty11, Sunyoung Park9, Stefan Reimann13, Matt Rigby11, Takuya Saito14, Peter K. Salameh2, Roland Schmidt2, Peter G. Simmonds6, L. Paul Steele5, Martin K. Vollmer13, Ray H. Wang15, Bo Yao16, Yoko Yokouchi14, Dickon Young11, and Lingxi Zhou16 Ronald G. Prinn et al.
  • 1Center for Global Change Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 2Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA
  • 3Department of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Urbino, Urbino, Italy
  • 4National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, Middlesex, UK and School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  • 5Climate Science Centre, Oceans and Atmosphere, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Aspendale, Victoria, Australia
  • 6School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  • 7Rwanda Climate Observatory Secretariat, Ministry of Education of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda
  • 8Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), Kjeller, Norway
  • 9Department of Oceanography, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Republic of Korea
  • 10Hadley Centre, The Met Office, Exeter, UK
  • 11School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  • 12National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 13Laboratory for Air Pollution and Environmental Technology (Empa), Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland
  • 14National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Tsukuba, Japan
  • 15Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • 16China Meteorological Administration (CMA), Beijing, China

Abstract. 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 – N2O, carbon monoxide – CO, molecular hydrogen – H2, methyl chloride – CH3Cl, and methyl bromide – CH3Br); (3) to identify new long-lived greenhouse and ozone-depleting gases (e.g., SO2F2, NF3, heavy PFCs (C4F10, C5F12, C6F14, C7F16, and C8F18) and hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs; 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 (CH3CCl3), 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: http://agage.mit.edu/data or http://cdiac.ess-dive.lbl.gov/ndps/alegage.html (https://doi.org/10.3334/CDIAC/atg.db1001).

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Short summary
We present the data and accomplishments of the multinational global atmospheric measurement program AGAGE (Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment). At high frequency and at multiple sites, AGAGE measures all the important chemicals in the Montreal Protocol for the protection of the ozone layer and the non-carbon-dioxide gases assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. AGAGE uses these data to estimate sources and sinks of all these gases and has operated since 1978.
We present the data and accomplishments of the multinational global atmospheric measurement...
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