Using 14C, 13C, 18O and 17O isotopic variations to provide insights into the high northern latitude surface CO inventory T. Röckmann1,2, P. Jöckel2, V. Gros2, M. Bräunlich2, G. Possnert3, and C. A. M. Brenninkmeijer2 1Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Bereich Atmosphärenphysik, Heidelberg, Germany 2Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie, Abteilung Luftchemie, Mainz, Germany 3Uppsala University, Angdtrömlaboratoriet, Uppsala, Sweden
Abstract. Measurements of the complete isotopic composition of atmospheric
CO (3CO, 14CO, C17O, C18O) have been carried out at the high northern latitude stations Spitsbergen, Norway, and
Alert, Canada. The annual changes of the isotope signatures reflect the seasonally varying
contributions from the individual CO sources and the OH sink. Short-term variability is small
at the remote sampling locations. Nevertheless, the interannual variability is considerable, in
particular for the summer minimum. The most prominent event was a strong increase in
CO in 1998 that persisted for several months. Using the isotope signatures it is possible to clearly
identify extraordinarily strong biomass burning during that season as the cause for this large-scale
CO anomaly. In 1997, on the other hand, biomass burning emissions were very low,
leading to an unusually low summer minimum and corresponding isotope signatures. The
results underscore that monitoring of CO and its isotopic composition at remote high latitude
stations is a valuable tool to better understand long-term variations of
CO that are representative for the whole high northern latitude region.
Citation: Röckmann, T., Jöckel, P., Gros, V., Bräunlich, M., Possnert, G., and Brenninkmeijer, C. A. M.: Using 14C, 13C, 18O and 17O isotopic variations to provide insights into the high northern latitude surface CO inventory, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 2, 147-159, doi:10.5194/acp-2-147-2002, 2002.