Articles | Volume 12, issue 18
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 8865–8875, 2012
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 8865–8875, 2012

Research article 28 Sep 2012

Research article | 28 Sep 2012

Variation of CO2 mole fraction in the lower free troposphere, in the boundary layer and at the surface

L. Haszpra1, M. Ramonet2, M. Schmidt2, Z. Barcza3, Zs. Pátkai4, K. Tarczay4, C. Yver5, J. Tarniewicz2, and P. Ciais2 L. Haszpra et al.
  • 1Hungarian Meteorological Service, 1675 Budapest, P.O. Box 39, Hungary
  • 2Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, UMR8212 CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 3Department of Meteorology, Eötvös Loránd University, 1117 Budapest, Pázmány P. sétány 1/A, Hungary
  • 4Hungarian Meteorological Service, 1525 Budapest, P.O. Box 38, Hungary
  • 5Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093 - 0244, USA

Abstract. Eight years of occasional flask air sampling and 3 years of frequent in situ measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) vertical profiles on board of a small aircraft, over a tall tower greenhouse gases monitoring site in Hungary are used for the analysis of the variations of vertical profile of CO2 mole fraction. Using the airborne vertical profiles and the measurements along the 115 m tall tower it is shown that the measurements at the top of the tower estimate the mean boundary layer CO2 mole fraction during the mid-afternoon fairly well, with an underestimation of 0.27–0.85 μmol mol−1 in summer, and an overestimation of 0.66–1.83 μmol mol−1 in winter. The seasonal cycle of CO2 mole fraction is damped with elevation. While the amplitude of the seasonal cycle is 28.5 μmol mol−1 at 10 m above the ground, it is only 10.7 μmol mol−1 in the layer of 2500–3000 m corresponding to the lower free atmosphere above the well-mixed boundary layer. The maximum mole fraction in the layer of 2500–3000 m can be observed around 25 March on average, two weeks ahead of that of the marine boundary layer reference (GLOBALVIEW). By contrast, close to the ground, the maximum CO2 mole fraction is observed late December, early January. The specific seasonal behavior is attributed to the climatology of vertical mixing of the atmosphere in the Carpathian Basin.

Final-revised paper