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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 18, issue 7 | Copyright

Special issue: Twenty-five years of operations of the Network for the Detection...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 5075-5088, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 16 Apr 2018

Research article | 16 Apr 2018

Measurements of atmospheric ethene by solar absorption FTIR spectrometry

Geoffrey C. Toon, Jean-Francois L. Blavier, and Keeyoon Sung Geoffrey C. Toon et al.
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, CA 91109, USA

Abstract. Atmospheric ethene (C2H4; ethylene) amounts have been retrieved from high-resolution solar absorption spectra measured by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) MkIV interferometer. Data recorded from 1985 to 2016 from a dozen ground-based sites have been analyzed, mostly between 30 and 67°N. At clean-air sites such as Alaska, Sweden, New Mexico, or the mountains of California, the ethene columns were always less than 1 × 1015moleccm−2 and therefore undetectable. In urban sites such as JPL, California, ethene was measurable with column amounts of 20 × 1015moleccm−2 observed in the 1990s. Despite the increasing population and traffic in southern California, a factor 3 decrease in ethene column density is observed over JPL over the past 25 years, accompanied by a decrease in CO. This is likely due to southern California's increasingly stringent vehicle exhaust regulations and tighter enforcement over this period.

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Remote sensing measurements of ethene have been made from the ground and from balloons. Ethene can be measured at low altitudes in polluted regions, such as the Los Angeles basin. Here ethene amounts have decreased by a factor of 3 over the past 25 years due to increasingly strict emission control regulations (e.g., on vehicle exhaust).
Remote sensing measurements of ethene have been made from the ground and from balloons. Ethene...