Total column densities of tropospheric and stratospheric trace gases in the undisturbed Arctic summer atmosphere

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Ground-based FTIR measurements have been performed in the Arctic summer in July 1993 and June 1994 at 79 degrees N to study the zenith column densities of several trace gases in the undisturbed Arctic summer atmosphere. Zenith column densities of H2O, N2O, HNO3, NO2, NO, ClONO2, ClO, HCl, HF, COF2, OCS, SF6, HCN, CH4, C2H6, C2H2, CO, O-3, CFC-12, CFC-22, and CO2 were retrieved by line-by-line calculations. The results are compared with winter and springtime observations measured at the same site, with column densities obtained in the Antarctic summer atmosphere, and with measurements at midlatitudes. For HCl the spectra give lower total zenith columns than expected, but the ratio HF/HCl agrees well with midlatitude literature data. Measurements of ClONO2 give low total columns in agreement with observations at midlatitudes. In the undisturbed atmosphere HCl was found to be in excess of ClONO2. The total columns of HNO3, N2O and the sum of NO and NO2 agree with summer observations in Antarctica. Results for the tropospheric trace gas C2H6 are higher by 250% when compared with Antarctic observations. Contrary to N2O and CH4 the seasonal cycle of C2H6 and C2H2 give much higher total columns in winter/spring compared to the summer observations. This is assigned to transport of polluted airmasses from mid-latitudes into the Arctic.


  • J Notholt
  • Arndt Meier
  • S Peil
External organisations
  • External Organization - Unknown
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-332
JournalJournal of Atmospheric Chemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes