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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2016-10-21
    Description: © The Author(s), 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 16 (2016): 10899-10910, doi:10.5194/acp-16-10899-2016.
    Description: Extensive undersaturations of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) in Pacific, Atlantic, and Southern Ocean surface waters indicate that atmospheric CCl4 is consumed in large amounts by the ocean. Observations made on 16 research cruises between 1987 and 2010, ranging in latitude from 60° N to 77° S, show that negative saturations extend over most of the surface ocean. Corrected for physical effects associated with radiative heat flux, mixing, and air injection, these anomalies were commonly on the order of −5 to −10 %, with no clear relationship to temperature, productivity, or other gross surface water characteristics other than being more negative in association with upwelling. The atmospheric flux required to sustain these undersaturations is 12.4 (9.4–15.4) Gg yr−1, a loss rate implying a partial atmospheric lifetime with respect to the oceanic loss of 183 (147–241) yr and that  ∼  18 (14–22)  % of atmospheric CCl4 is lost to the ocean. Although CCl4 hydrolyzes in seawater, published hydrolysis rates for this gas are too slow to support such large undersaturations, given our current understanding of air–sea gas exchange rates. The even larger undersaturations in intermediate depth waters associated with reduced oxygen levels, observed in this study and by other investigators, strongly suggest that CCl4 is ubiquitously consumed at mid-depth, presumably by microbiota. Although this subsurface sink creates a gradient that drives a downward flux of CCl4, the gradient alone is not sufficient to explain the observed surface undersaturations. Since known chemical losses are likewise insufficient to sustain the observed undersaturations, this suggests a possible biological sink for CCl4 in surface or near-surface waters of the ocean. The total atmospheric lifetime for CCl4, based on these results and the most recent studies of soil uptake and loss in the stratosphere is now 32 (26–43) yr.
    Description: This research could not have been done without the support of our various institutions and the programs through which they support science, including funds at various times from NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research Program, the US Department of Energy, NOAA’s Climate Program Office, the Atmospheric and Geosciences sections of the National Science Foundation, and the National Research Council of the US National Academies of Science.
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) is an ozone-depleting substance, which is controlled by the Montreal Protocol and for which the atmospheric abundance is decreasing. However, the current observed rate of this decrease is known to be slower than expected based on reported CCl4 emissions and its estimated overall atmospheric lifetime. Here we use a three-dimensional (3-D) chemical transport model to investigate the impact on its predicted decay of uncertainties in the rates at which CCl4 is removed from the atmosphere by photolysis, by ocean uptake and by degradation in soils. The largest sink is atmospheric photolysis (74% of total), but a reported 10% uncertainty in its combined photolysis cross section and quantum yield has only a modest impact on the modelled rate of CCl4 decay. This is partly due to the limiting effect of the rate of transport of CCl4 from the main tropospheric reservoir to the stratosphere, where photolytic loss occurs. The model suggests large interannual variability in the magnitude of this stratospheric photolysis sink caused by variations in transport. The impact of uncertainty in the minor soil sink (9%of total) is also relatively small. In contrast, the model shows that uncertainty in ocean loss (17%of total) has the largest impact on modelled CCl4 decay due to its sizeable contribution to CCl4 loss and large lifetime uncertainty range (147 to 241 years). With an assumed CCl4 emission rate of 39 Gg year(exp -1), the reference simulation with the best estimate of loss processes still underestimates the observed CCl4 (overestimates the decay) over the past 2 decades but to a smaller extent than previous studies. Changes to the rate of CCl4 loss processes, in line with known uncertainties, could bring the model into agreement with in situ surface and remote-sensing measurements, as could an increase in emissions to around 47 Gg year(exp -1). Further progress in constraining the CCl4 budget is partly limited by systematic biases between observational datasets. For example, surface observations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) network are larger than from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) network but have shown a steeper decreasing trend over the past 2 decades. These differences imply a difference in emissions which is significant relative to uncertainties in the magnitudes of the CCl4 sinks.
    Keywords: Environment Pollution
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN38408 , Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics; 16; 24; 15741-15754
    Format: text
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-09-05
    Description: The Montreal Protocol (MP) controls the production and consumption of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4 or CTC) and other ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) for emissive uses. CCl4 is a major ODS, accounting for about 12% of the globally averaged inorganic chlorine and bromine in the stratosphere, compared to 14% for CFC-12 in 2012. In spite of the MP controls, there are large ongoing emissions of CCl4 into the atmosphere. Estimates of emissions from various techniques ought to yield similar numbers. However, the recent WMO/UNEP Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion estimated a 2007-2012 CCl4 bottom-up emission of 1-4 Gg/year (1-4 kilotonnes/year), based on country-by-country reports to UNEP, and a global top-down emissions estimate of 57 Gg/ year, based on atmospheric measurements. This 54 Gg/year difference has not been explained. In order to assess the current knowledge on global CCl4 sources and sinks, stakeholders from industrial, governmental, and the scientific communities came together at the Solving the Mystery of Carbon Tetrachloride workshop, which was held from 4-6 October 2015 at Empa in Dbendorf, Switzerland. During this workshop, several new findings were brought forward by the participants on CCl4 emissions and related science.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN34664
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2010-09-16
    Print ISSN: 0036-8075
    Electronic ISSN: 1095-9203
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Computer Science , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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