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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 12, issue 16
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 7767–7777, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 7767–7777, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Technical note 28 Aug 2012

Technical note | 28 Aug 2012

Technical Note: Latitude-time variations of atmospheric column-average dry air mole fractions of CO2, CH4 and N2O

R. Saito1, P. K. Patra1, N. Deutscher2,6, D. Wunch3, K. Ishijima1, V. Sherlock4, T. Blumenstock5, S. Dohe5, D. Griffith6, F. Hase5, P. Heikkinen7, E. Kyrö7, R. Macatangay6, J. Mendonca8, J. Messerschmidt3, I. Morino9, J. Notholt2, M. Rettinger10, K. Strong8, R. Sussmann10, and T. Warneke2 R. Saito et al.
  • 1Research Institute for Global Change, JAMSTEC, Yokohama, 236-0001, Japan
  • 2Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
  • 3California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
  • 4National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Wellington 6021, New Zealand
  • 5IMK-ASF, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
  • 6School of Chemistry, University of Wollongong, NSW, 2522, Australia
  • 7FMI-Arctic Research Center, Tähteläntie 62, 99600, Sodankylä, Finland
  • 8Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A7, Canada
  • 9National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Tsukuba, 305–8506, Japan
  • 10IMK-IFU, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Abstract. We present a comparison of an atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM)-based chemistry-transport model (ACTM) simulation with total column measurements of CO2, CH4 and N2O from the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON). The model is able to capture observed trends, seasonal cycles and inter hemispheric gradients at most sampled locations for all three species. The model-observation agreements are best for CO2, because the simulation uses fossil fuel inventories and an inverse model estimate of non-fossil fuel fluxes. The ACTM captures much of the observed seasonal variability in CO2 and N2O total columns (~81 % variance, R>0.9 between ACTM and TCCON for 19 out of 22 cases). These results suggest that the transport processes in troposphere and stratosphere are well represented in ACTM. Thus the poor correlation between simulated and observed CH4 total columns, particularly at tropical and extra-tropical sites, have been attributed to the uncertainties in surface emissions and loss by hydroxyl radicals. While the upward-looking total column measurements of CO2 contains surface flux signals at various spatial and temporal scales, the N2O measurements are strongly affected by the concentration variations in the upper troposphere and stratosphere.

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