Greenhouse gas analysis of air samples collected onboard the CARIBIC passenger aircraft

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Abstract

CARIBIC (Civil Aircraft for the Regular Investigation of the atmosphere<br />Based on an Instrument Container) is a long-term atmospheric measurement<br />program based on the use of a comprehensive scientific instrument<br />package aboard a commercial passenger aircraft. In addition to real-time<br />measurements, whole air sampling is performed regularly at cruising<br />altitudes in the tropical middle troposphere and the extra-tropical<br />UT/LS region. Air samples are analyzed for greenhouse gases, NMHCs,<br />halocarbons, and trace gas isotopic composition. The routinely performed<br />greenhouse gas analysis comprises gas chromatography measurements<br />of CO2, CH4, N2O and SF6. <br /><br /><br />The air sampling procedure, the GC system and its performance are<br />described. Comparisons with similar systems employed in other laboratories<br />and a comparison with results from a CO2 in-situ analyzer that is<br />also part of the CARIBIC instrumentation are shown. In addition,<br />the time series of CO2, obtained from the collection of 684 samples<br />at latitudes between 30� N and 56� N on 21 round trips out of Germany<br />to different destinations in Asia between November 2005 and October<br />2008, is presented. A time shift in the seasonal cycle of about one<br />month was observed between the upper troposphere and the tropopause<br />region. For two sets of return flights from Germany to the Philippines<br />the relationship between the four greenhouse gases is briefly discussed.

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Schuck, T. J., Brenninkmeijer, C. A. M., Slemr, F., Xueref-Remy, I., & Zahn, A. (2009). Greenhouse gas analysis of air samples collected onboard the CARIBIC passenger aircraft. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 2(2), 449–464. https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2-449-2009

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