GEOSCIENCES RESEARCH DIV.
- AGAGE (Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment) (data portal)
- Global Warming, Climate Change, Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)
- Stratospheric Ozone Depletion, Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs)
- Global and regional emissions, loss processes, and lifetimes of ODSs and GHGs
- Top-down (measurement based) verification of bottom-up emission estimates
- Top-down (measurement based) verification of compliance with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and the Paris Agreement
- Halogenated trace gases
- Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) and their emissions from global aluminium, rare-earth, and semi-conductor industries
- Trace gas measurement techniques (GC-FID/ECD, GC/MSD, GC/TOF-MS, PTR-TOF-MS, CRDS)
- Atmospheric chemistry
- Wildfire emissions
- Long-range transport of pollutants
- Diploma in Chemistry, University of Wuppertal
- Doctor of Natural Sciences, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany
The Advanced Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE)
The Advanced Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) measures all important greenhouse gases (GHGs) and ozone depleting substances (ODSs) in the global atmosphere AGAGE measures synthetic greenhouse gases (GHGs) and ozone depleting substances (ODSs) at 13+ sites around the world. Measurement sites are operated by SIO and many international partners. The central AGAGE experimental and calibration laboratory is located at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.
Climate impact (radiative forcing) from greenhouse gases (GHGs) The impact of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere on climate is often expressed using its radiative forcing (RF). RF basically expresses how much more (or less) energy (from the sun) is trapped in the atmosphere due to the presence of a certain greenhouse gas (compared to the pre-industrial atmosphere).
Total radiative forcing (RF, W/m2), or the impact on the climate, of all greenhouse gases (GHGs) is dominated by carbon dioxide (CO2), followed by methane (CH4), the sum of all ozone depleting substances (ODSs), nitrous oxide (N2O), and the sum of all synthetic GHGs.
(ODSs are gases that contain chlorine and/or bromine atoms. They are causing ozone depletion including the "ozone hole" in the Southern Hemisphere every austral spring. Synthetic GHGs are mostly man-made - that is they are mostly not natural.)
Several ozone depleting substances (ODSs) are also strong GHGs, foremost the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). While HFCs are generally less strong GHGs than CFCs, their contribution to RF is increasing rapidly due to their widespread use and emissions. (In other words, once CFCs were found to be destroying the stratospheric ozone layer, they (and other compounds) have been phased out. Often times they were replaced by HCFCs and HFCs, sometimes by other means. This replacement protected the ozone layer and also had a positive impact of the climate. Initially a reduction in combined RF was achieved, but the sharp increase of the HFCs in the atmosphere threatens to erode this benefit to the climate.)
Total radiative forcing (RF) (left top) and contribution from individual compounds classes: CO2 (carbon dioxide) (left middle), CH4 (methane), (Total) ODSs (ozone depleting substances), N2O (nitrous oxide), and (Total) Synthetic GHGs (left) (left bottom).
(Total) ODS as the sum of RF from CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons), solvents (chlorinated solvents and feedstock compounds), and halons (brominated fire fighting compounds) (right top).
Total Synthetic GHGs as the sum of RF from PFCs (perfluorocarbons), HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons), SF6 (sulfur hexafluoride), SO2F2 (sulfuryl fluoride), NF3 (nitrogen trifluoride) (right bottom).
This plot and the following stack plots were produced by CSIRO, one of our many international partners.
Contribution of individual compound groups to total radiative forcing (RF) on a logarithmic scale: CO2 (carbon dioxide), CH4 (methane), (Total) ODSs (ozone depleting substances), CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), N2O (nitrous oxide), HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons), CH3CCl3, CCl4 , Kyoto Protocol Synthetics, PFCs (perfluorocarbons), HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons), SF6 (sulfur hexafluoride), halons (brominated fire fighting compounds), SO2F2 (sulfuryl fluoride), NF3 (nitrogen trifluoride).
Radiative forcing (RF) from CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons), HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons), and other synthetic greenhouse gases (SGHGs, SF6 (sulfur hexafluoride), PFCs (perfluorocarbons), halons, CH3CCl3 and CCl4).
Several CFCs still contribute significantly to total RF, even though their production and consumption has been phased out by the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. This lasting contribution of CFCs to RF is in part due their long atmospheric lifetimes and in part due to large "banks" (old insulation foams, refrigerators, etc.), from which these compounds are still leaking into the atmosphere. The growth in the contribution of HCFCs to RF has slowed down as consumption and production of HCFCs are being phased out by the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (which mandates a 100% HCFC reduction in developed countries by 2020 and a 67.5% HCFC reduction in developing countries by 2025 and 100% by 2030). In contrast, the contribution of HFCs to RF is increasing unabated, which is why HFCs have recently been added to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in the Kigali Amendment.