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Journal Articles Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres Year : 2022

Global Atmospheric OCS Trend Analysis From 22 NDACC Stations

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James W Hannigan
Ivan Ortega
Shima Bahramvash Shams
Thomas Blumenstock
  • Function : Author
John Elliott Campbell
Stephanie Conway
Victoria Flood
Omaira Garcia
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David Griffith
Michel Grutter
Frank Hase
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Nicholas Jones
Emmanuel Mahieu
  • Function : Author
Maria Makarova
  • Function : Author
Martine de Mazière
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Isamu Morino
Isao Murata
  • Function : Author
Toomo Nagahama
  • Function : Author
Hideaki Nakijima
  • Function : Author
Justus Notholt
Mathias Palm
Anatoliy Poberovskii
  • Function : Author
Markus Rettinger
  • Function : Author
John Robinson
  • Function : Author
Amelie N Röhling
Matthias Schneider
  • Function : Author
Christian Servais
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Dan Smale
Wolfgang Stremme
  • Function : Author
Kimberly Strong
Ralf Sussmann
  • Function : Author
Yao Te
Corinne Vigouroux
  • Function : Author
Tyler Wizenberg
  • Function : Author


Carbonyl sulfide (OCS) is a non-hygroscopic trace species in the free troposphere and a large sulfur reservoir maintained by both direct oceanic, geologic, biogenic, and anthropogenic emissions and the oxidation of other sulfur-containing source species. It is the largest source of sulfur transported to the stratosphere during volcanically quiescent periods. Data from 22 ground-based globally dispersed stations are used to derive trends in total and partial column OCS. Middle infrared spectral data are recorded by solar-viewing Fourier transform interferometers that are operated as part of the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change between 1986 and 2020. Vertical information in the retrieved profiles provides analysis of discreet altitudinal regions. Trends are found to have well-defined inflection points. In two linear trend time periods ∼2002 to 2008 and ∼2008 to 2016 tropospheric trends range from ∼0.0 to (1.55 ± 0.30%/yr) in contrast to the prior period where all tropospheric trends are negative. Regression analyses show strongest correlation in the free troposphere with anthropogenic emissions. Stratospheric trends in the period ∼2008 to 2016 are positive up to (1.93 ± 0.26%/yr) except notably low latitude stations that have negative stratospheric trends. Since ∼2016, all stations show a free tropospheric decrease to 2020. Stratospheric OCS is regressed with simultaneously measured N 2 O to derive a trend accounting for dynamical variability. Stratospheric lifetimes are derived and range from (54.1 ± 9.7)yr in the sub-tropics to (103.4 ± 18.3)yr in Antarctica. These unique long-term measurements provide new and critical constraints on the global OCS budget. Plain Language Summary Carbonyl sulfide (OCS) is the most abundant sulfur containing gas in the atmosphere. There are many sources and sinks of OCS and other sulfur species in the atmosphere but most other short lived sulfur species eventually are converted to OCS. It is important to quantify and understand OCS as it can be used to understand CO 2 and the carbon cycle and also since it eventually is transported into the stratosphere where it maintains the sulfate aerosol layer at about 20 km into the atmosphere. This layer is very important for earth's energy balance and climate change. In contrast with earlier and less comprehensive reports, this global study from 22 observation stations worldwide, shows stratospheric OCS to be increasing HANNIGAN ET AL.

Dates and versions

hal-03953791 , version 1 (24-01-2023)



James W Hannigan, Ivan Ortega, Shima Bahramvash Shams, Thomas Blumenstock, John Elliott Campbell, et al.. Global Atmospheric OCS Trend Analysis From 22 NDACC Stations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 2022, 127 (4), ⟨10.1029/2021jd035764⟩. ⟨hal-03953791⟩
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