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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 17, issue 3
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 1985-2008, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-1985-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 1985-2008, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-1985-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 09 Feb 2017

Research article | 09 Feb 2017

Acetone–CO enhancement ratios in the upper troposphere based on 7 years of CARIBIC data: new insights and estimates of regional acetone fluxes

Garlich Fischbeck1, Harald Bönisch1, Marco Neumaier1, Carl A. M. Brenninkmeijer2, Johannes Orphal1, Joel Brito3, Julia Becker1, Detlev Sprung4, Peter F. J. van Velthoven5, and Andreas Zahn1 Garlich Fischbeck et al.
  • 1Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK-ASF), Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 2Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (MPIC), Air Chemistry Division, Mainz, Germany
  • 3Laboratory for Meteorological Physics (LaMP), University Blaise Pascal, Aubière, France
  • 4Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (IOSB), Ettlingen, Germany
  • 5Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, the Netherlands

Abstract. Acetone and carbon monoxide (CO) are two important trace gases controlling the oxidation capacity of the troposphere; enhancement ratios (EnRs) are useful in assessing their sources and fate between emission and sampling, especially in pollution plumes. In this study, we focus on in situ data from the upper troposphere recorded by the passenger-aircraft-based IAGOS–CARIBIC (In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System–Civil Aircraft for the Regular Investigation of the atmosphere Based on an Instrument Container) observatory over the periods 2006–2008 and 2012–2015. This dataset is used to investigate the seasonal and spatial variation of acetone–CO EnRs. Furthermore, we utilize a box model accounting for dilution, chemical degradation and secondary production of acetone from precursors. In former studies, increasing acetone–CO EnRs in a plume were associated with secondary production of acetone. Results of our box model question this common presumption and show increases of acetone–CO EnR over time without taking secondary production of acetone into account. The temporal evolution of EnRs in the upper troposphere, especially in summer, is not negligible and impedes the interpretation of EnRs as a means for partitioning of acetone and CO sources in the boundary layer. In order to ensure that CARIBIC EnRs represent signatures of source regions with only small influences by dilution and chemistry, we limit our analysis to temporal and spatial coherent events of high-CO enhancement. We mainly focus on North America and Southeast Asia because of their different mix of pollutant sources and the good data coverage. For both regions, we find the expected seasonal variation in acetone–CO EnRs with maxima in summer, but with higher amplitude over North America. We derive mean (± standard deviation) annual acetone fluxes of (53±27)10−13kgm−2s−1 and (185±80)10−13kgm−2s−1 for North America and Southeast Asia, respectively. The derived flux for North America is consistent with the inventories, whereas Southeast Asia acetone emissions appear to be underestimated by the inventories.

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