Short Name:

2008 South Pole Firn Air Methane Isotopes

This project will involve the measurement of methane and other trace gases in firn air collected at South Pole, Antarctica. The analyses will include: methane isotopes, light non-methane hydrocarbons (ethane, propane, and n-butane), sulfur gases (OCS, CS2), and methyl halides (CH3Cl and CH3Br). The atmospheric burdens of these trace gases reflect changes in atmospheric OH, biomass burning, biogenic activity in terrestrial, oceanic, and wetland ecosystems, and industrial/agricultural activity. The goal of this project is to develop atmospheric histories for these trace gases over the last century through examination of depth profiles of these gases in South Pole firn air. The project will involve two phases: 1) a field campaign at South Pole, Antarctica to drill two firn holes and fill a total of ~200 flasks from depths reaching 120 m, 2) analysis of firn air at UCI, Penn State University, and several other collaborating laboratories. Atmospheric histories will be inferred from the measurements using a one dimensional advective/diffusive model of firn air transport.

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