Articles | Volume 24, issue 2
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-24-1415-2024
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-24-1415-2024
Research article
 | 
30 Jan 2024
Research article |  | 30 Jan 2024

Estimation of the atmospheric hydroxyl radical oxidative capacity using multiple hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

Rona L. Thompson, Stephen A. Montzka, Martin K. Vollmer, Jgor Arduini, Molly Crotwell, Paul B. Krummel, Chris Lunder, Jens Mühle, Simon O'Doherty, Ronald G. Prinn, Stefan Reimann, Isaac Vimont, Hsiang Wang, Ray F. Weiss, and Dickon Young

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Short summary
The hydroxyl radical determines the atmospheric lifetimes of numerous species including methane. Since OH is very short-lived, it is not possible to directly measure its concentration on scales relevant for understanding its effect on other species. Here, OH is inferred by looking at changes in hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). We find that OH levels have been fairly stable over our study period (2004 to 2021), suggesting that OH is not the main driver of the recent increase in atmospheric methane.
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