Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1887
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1887
28 Jun 2024
 | 28 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Age of air from in situ trace gas measurements: Insights from a new technique

Eric A. Ray, Fred L. Moore, Hella Garny, Eric J. Hintsa, Bradley D. Hall, Geoff S. Dutton, David Nance, James W. Elkins, Steven C. Wofsy, Jasna Pittman, Bruce Daube, Bianca C. Baier, Jianghanyang Li, and Colm Sweeney

Abstract. The age of air is an important transport diagnostic that can be derived from trace gas measurements and compared to global chemistry climate model output.  We describe a new technique to calculate the age of air, measuring transport times from the Earth’s surface to any location in the atmosphere based on simultaneous in situ measurements of multiple key long-lived trace gases. The primary benefits of this new technique include (1) optimized ages of air consistent with simultaneously measured SF6 and CO2, (2) age of air from the upper troposphere through the stratosphere, (3) estimates of the second moment of age spectra that have not been well constrained from measurements and (4) flexibility to be used with measurements across multiple instruments, platforms and decades.  We demonstrate the technique on aircraft and balloon measurements from the 1990s, the last period of extensive stratospheric in situ sampling, and several recent missions from the 2020s, and compare the results with previously published and modeled values.

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Eric A. Ray, Fred L. Moore, Hella Garny, Eric J. Hintsa, Bradley D. Hall, Geoff S. Dutton, David Nance, James W. Elkins, Steven C. Wofsy, Jasna Pittman, Bruce Daube, Bianca C. Baier, Jianghanyang Li, and Colm Sweeney

Status: open (until 09 Aug 2024)

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Eric A. Ray, Fred L. Moore, Hella Garny, Eric J. Hintsa, Bradley D. Hall, Geoff S. Dutton, David Nance, James W. Elkins, Steven C. Wofsy, Jasna Pittman, Bruce Daube, Bianca C. Baier, Jianghanyang Li, and Colm Sweeney
Eric A. Ray, Fred L. Moore, Hella Garny, Eric J. Hintsa, Bradley D. Hall, Geoff S. Dutton, David Nance, James W. Elkins, Steven C. Wofsy, Jasna Pittman, Bruce Daube, Bianca C. Baier, Jianghanyang Li, and Colm Sweeney

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Short summary
In this study we describe new techniques to derive age of air from multiple simultaneous measurements of long-lived trace gases in order to improve the fidelity of the age of air estimates and to be able to compare age of air from measurements taken from different instruments, platforms and decades.  This technique also allows new transport information to be obtained from the measurements such as the primary source latitude that can also be compared to models.