Geophysical Research Letters

Distribution of natural halocarbons in marine boundary air over the Arctic Ocean

Authors

  • Yoko Yokouchi,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Environmental Measurement and Analysis, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
    • Corresponding author: Y. Yokouchi, Center for Environmental Measurement and Analysis, National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2, Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan. (yokouchi@nies.go.jp)

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  • Jun Inoue,

    1. Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokosuka, Japan
    2. National Institute of Polar Research, Tachikawa, Japan
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  • Desiree Toom-Sauntry

    1. Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Abstract

[1] Ongoing environmental changes in the Arctic will affect the exchange of natural volatile organic compounds between the atmosphere and the Arctic Ocean. Among these compounds, natural halocarbons play an important role in atmospheric ozone chemistry. We measured the distribution of five major natural halocarbons (methyl iodide, bromoform, dibromomethane, methyl chloride, and methyl bromide) together with dimethyl sulfide and tetrachloroethylene in the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean (from the Bering Strait to 79°N) and along the cruise path to and from Japan. Methyl iodide, bromoform, and dibromomethane were most abundant near perennial sea ice in air masses derived from coastal regions and least abundant in the northernmost Arctic, where the air masses had passed over the ice pack, whereas methyl chloride and methyl bromide showed the opposite distribution pattern. Factors controlling those distributions and future prospects for natural halocarbons in the Arctic are discussed.

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