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Atmospheric Trends and Lifetime of CH$_3$CCl$_3$ and Global OH Concentrations

R. G. Prinn, R. F. Weiss, B. R. Miller, J. Huang, F. N. Alyea, D. M. Cunnold, P. J. Fraser, D. E. Hartley and P. G. Simmonds
Science
New Series, Vol. 269, No. 5221 (Jul. 14, 1995), pp. 187-192
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2888434
Page Count: 6
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Atmospheric Trends and Lifetime of CH$_3$CCl$_3$ and Global OH Concentrations
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Abstract

Determination of the atmospheric concentrations and lifetime of trichloroethane (CH$_3$CCl$_3$) is very important in the context of global change. This halocarbon is involved in depletion of ozone, and the hydroxyl radical (OH) concentrations determined from its lifetime provide estimates of the lifetimes of most other hydrogen-containing gases involved in the ozone layer and climate. Global measurements of trichloroethane indicate rising concentrations before and declining concentrations after late 1991. The lifetime of CH$_3$CCl$_3$ in the total atmosphere is 4.8 ± 0.3 years, which is substantially lower than previously estimated. The deduced hydroxyl radical concentration, which measures the atmosphere's oxidizing capability, shows little change from 1978 to 1994.

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