Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 7405-7413, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
02 Aug 2013
ACE-FTS observations of acetonitrile in the lower stratosphere
J. J. Harrison1 and P. F. Bernath1,2 1Department of Chemistry, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK
2Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia 23529, USA
Abstract. This work reports the first infrared satellite remote-sensing measurements of acetonitrile (CH3CN) in the Earth's atmosphere using solar occultation measurements made by the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier transform spectrometer (ACE-FTS) between 2004 and 2011. The retrieval scheme uses new quantitative laboratory spectroscopic measurements of acetonitrile (Harrison and Bernath, 2012). Although individual ACE-FTS profile measurements are dominated by measurement noise, median profiles in 10° latitude bins show a steady decline in volume mixing ratio from ~150 ppt (parts per trillion) at 11.5 km to < 40 ppt at 25.5–29.5 km. These new measurements agree well with the scant available air- and balloon-borne data in the lower stratosphere. An acetonitrile stratospheric lifetime of 73 ± 20 yr has been determined.

Citation: Harrison, J. J. and Bernath, P. F.: ACE-FTS observations of acetonitrile in the lower stratosphere, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 7405-7413, doi:10.5194/acp-13-7405-2013, 2013.
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