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Evidence for a CO increase in the SH during the 20th century based on firn air samples from Berkner Island, Antarctica

by S.S. Assonov, C.A.M. Brenninkmeijer, P. Jöckel, R. Mulvaney, S. Bernard, J. Chappellaz
()

Abstract

Trends of carbon monoxide (CO) for the past 100 years are reported as derived from Antarctic firn drilling expeditions. Only one of 3 campaigns provided high quality results. The trend was reconstructed using a firn air model in the forward mode to constrain age distributions and assuming the CO increase to be proportional to its major source, namely CH4. The results suggest that CO has increased by ~38%, from 38±7 to 52.5±1.5 ppbv over a period of roughly 100 years. The concentrations are on the volumetric scale which corresponds to ~1.08 of the scale used by NOAA/CMDL. The estimated CO increase is somewhat larger than what is estimated from the CO budget estimations and the CH4 growth alone. The most likely explanation might be an increase in biomass burning emissions. Using CH3Cl as another proxy produces a very similar reconstruction.

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