Articles | Volume 17, issue 7
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 4539–4564, 2017
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 4539–4564, 2017

Research article 05 Apr 2017

Research article | 05 Apr 2017

Constraining N2O emissions since 1940 using firn air isotope measurements in both hemispheres

Markella Prokopiou et al.

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Subject: Isotopes | Research Activity: Field Measurements | Altitude Range: Troposphere | Science Focus: Chemistry (chemical composition and reactions)
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Cited articles

Allin, S. J., Laube, J. C., Witrant, E., Kaiser, J., McKenna, E., Dennis, P., Mulvaney, R., Capron, E., Martinerie, P., Röckmann, T., Blunier, T., Schwander, J., Fraser, P. J., Langenfelds, R. L., and Sturges, W. T.: Chlorine isotope composition in chlorofluorocarbons CFC-11, CFC-12 and CFC-113 in firn, stratospheric and tropospheric air, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 6867–6877,, 2015.
Appenzeller, C., Holton, J. R., and Rosenlof, K. H.: Seasonal vaariation of mass transport across the tropopause, J. Geophys. Res., 101, 15071–15078,, 1996.
Battle, M., Bender, M., Sowers, T., Tans, P. P., Butler, J. H., Elkins, J. W., Ellis, J. T., Conway, T., Zhang, N., Lang, P., and Clarke, A. D.: Atmospheric gas concentrations over the past century measured in air from firn at South Pole, Nature, 383, 231–235, 1996.
Bernard, S., Röckmann, T., Kaiser, J., Barnola, J.-M., Fischer, H., Blunier, T., and Chappellaz, J.: Constraints on N2O budget changes since pre-industrial time from new firn air and ice core isotope measurements, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 6, 493-503,, 2006.
Bouwman, A. F., Beusen, A. H. W., Griffioen, J., Van Groenigen, J. W., Hefting, M. M., Oenema, O., Van Puijenbroek, P. J. T. M., Seitzinger, S., Slomp, C. P., and Stehfest, E.: Global trends and uncertainties in terrestrial denitrification and N2O emissions, Philos. T. Roy. Soc. B, 368, 1–11,, 2013.
Short summary
Nitrous oxide is the third most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas with an increasing mole fraction. To understand its natural and anthropogenic sources we employ isotope measurements. Results show that while the N2O mole fraction increases, its heavy isotope content decreases. The isotopic changes observed underline the dominance of agricultural emissions especially at the early part of the record, whereas in the later decades the contribution from other anthropogenic sources increases.
Final-revised paper