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Seasonal and latitudinal variation of 14CO and the tropospheric concentration of OH radicals


  • Andreas Volz,

  • Dieter H. Ehhalt,

  • Richard G. Derwent


Ground-based measurements of the concentration of 14CO are reported. The data exhibit a well-defined seasonal variation at mid-latitudes with a maximum of 25 ± 2 molecule cm−3 during winter and a minimum of 11 ± 1 molecule cm−3 during summer. The measurements also indicate a strong latitudinal variation, with the lower concentrations occurring in the tropics. The data are interpreted using a 2-D time-dependent model. To balance the sources of both 14CO and 12CO, an average tropospheric OH concentration of (6.5-2+3) × 105 molecule cm−3 is required. In addition, the 12CO production rate from biological processes including the oxidation of nonmethane hydrocarbons is found to be 1250 × 1012 g CO yr−1.

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