Long-lived atmospheric trace gases measurements in flask samples from three stations in India
Abstract. With the rapid growth in population and economic development, emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the Indian subcontinent have sharply increased during recent decades. However, evaluation of regional fluxes of GHGs and characterization of their spatial and temporal variations by atmospheric inversions remain uncertain due to a sparse regional atmospheric observation network. As a result of an Indo-French collaboration, three new atmospheric stations were established in India at Hanle (HLE), Pondicherry (PON) and Port Blair (PBL), with the objective of monitoring the atmospheric concentrations of GHGs and other trace gases. Here we present the results of the measurements of CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6, CO, and H2 from regular flask sampling at these three stations over the period 2007–2011. For each species, annual means, seasonal cycles and gradients between stations were calculated and related to variations in natural GHG fluxes, anthropogenic emissions, and monsoon circulations. Covariances between species at the synoptic scale were analyzed to investigate the likely source(s) of emissions. The flask measurements of various trace gases at the three stations have the potential to constrain the inversions of fluxes over southern and northeastern India. However, this network of ground stations needs further extension to other parts of India to better constrain the GHG budgets at regional and continental scales.