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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 4, issue 5 | Copyright
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 4, 865-874, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 12 May 2011

Research article | 12 May 2011

Results from the first national UK inter-laboratory calibration for very short-lived halocarbons

C. E. Jones1,*, S. J. Andrews1, L. J. Carpenter1, C. Hogan2, F. E. Hopkins3, J. C. Laube2, A. D. Robinson4, T. G. Spain5, S. D. Archer3, N. R. P. Harris4, P. D. Nightingale3, S. J. O'Doherty6, D. E. Oram2, J. A. Pyle4, J. H. Butler7, and B. D. Hall7 C. E. Jones et al.
  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK
  • 2School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
  • 3Plymouth Marine Laboratory, The Hoe, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 3DH, UK
  • 4Centre for Atmospheric Science, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 1EW, UK
  • 5School of Physics, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
  • 6Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TS, UK
  • 7Global Monitoring Division, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • *now at: Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Urban Environmental Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Minami-osawa 1-1, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo, 192-0397, Japan

Abstract. Very short-lived halocarbons (VSLH) such as CH3I, CH2Br2 and CHBr3 provide an important source of reactive halogens to the atmosphere, however high spatial and seasonal variability in their ambient mixing ratios and sea-air fluxes gives rise to considerable uncertainty in global scale emission estimates. One solution to improve global flux estimates is to combine the multitude of individually published datasets to produce a database of collated global halocarbon observations. Some progress towards this has already been achieved through the HalOcAt (Halocarbons in the Ocean and Atmosphere) database initiative, but the absence of a common calibration scale for very short-lived halocarbons makes it difficult to distinguish true environmental variations from artefacts arising from differences between calibration methodologies. As such, the lack of inter-calibrations for both air and seawater measurements of very short-lived halocarbons has been identified as a major limitation to current estimations of the global scale impact of these reactive trace gases. Here we present the key findings from the first national UK inter-laboratory comparison for calibrations of the halocarbons CH3I, CH2Br2 and CHBr3. The aim of this inter-calibration was to provide transparency between halocarbon calibrations from major UK research institutions, an important step towards enabling all measurements from these institutions to be treated as one coherent integrated dataset for global source term parameterisations.

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