Details for Continuous high-frequency observations of hydrogen at the Mace Head baseline atmospheric monitoring station over the 1994–1998 period

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Name:Continuous high-frequency observations of hydrogen at the Mace Head baseline atmospheric monitoring station over the 1994–1998 period
Description:Simmonds, P. G., R. G. Derwent, S. O'Doherty, D. B. Ryall, L. P. Steele, R. L. Langenfelds, P. Salameh, H. J. Wang, C. H. Dimmer, and L. E. Hudson (2000), Continuous high-frequency observations of hydrogen at the Mace Head baseline atmospheric monitoring station over the 1994–1998 period, J. Geophys. Res., 105(D10), 12,105–12,121

Abstract


Continuous high-frequency (every 40-min) automatic measurements of hydrogen have been made at the Mace Head atmospheric research station on the Atlantic Ocean coast of Ireland throughout 1994–1998. These observations represent one the most comprehensive in situ records of a trace gas that has received comparatively little attention. Individual measurements have been sorted by four independent methods to separate clean, maritime air masses from regionally polluted European air masses. Hydrogen concentrations in midlatitude Northern Hemisphere baseline air show a distinct seasonal cycle with highest concentrations during spring and lowest concentrations during late autumn, with a peak-to-trough amplitude of 38 ± 6 ppb, averaged over the observed seasonal cycles from 1994 to 1998. The mean hydrogen concentration in midlatitude Northern Hemisphere baseline air on January 1, 1995, was estimated as 496.5 ppb with an upward trend of 1.2 ± 0.8 ppb yr−1. Evidence has also been obtained for European pollution sources with source strength of about 0.8 Tg yr−1 and for deposition of hydrogen to soils. The observation of slightly elevated hydrogen concentrations relative to baseline levels in tropical maritime air masses points to a latitudinal gradient in hydrogen with higher concentrations in lower latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere and in the Southern Hemisphere. This is confirmed by comparable hydrogen observations at Cape Grim, Tasmania, which are consistently higher than measurements recorded at Mace Head. Mean hemispheric concentrations of 504 and 520 ppb have been estimated for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, respectively, for January 1, 1996, corresponding to a total atmospheric hydrogen burden of 182 Tg.

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