Experimental Atmospheric Research
Welcome to the homepage of the working group „Atmospheric Tracers“
The scientific focus of our working group is on atmospheric tracers. We use measurement data of trace gases to investigate a variety of atmospheric processes. Most experimental data are provided by our GC/MS (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry) instruments and analyses are completed by data of multiple atmospheric chemistry transport and chemistry climate models. The most important fields of research are:
- Measurements of tropospheric source gases of stratospheric chlorine and bromine at Mace Head, Ireland, and Taunus Observatory. We use GC/MS in combination with time of flight mass spectrometry for in-situ trace gas measurements at Taunus Observatory and canned air samples from Mace Head on a regular basis. Data are evaluated with respect to ongoing emissions (strength) of these trace gases in Europe.
- Airborne measurements of halogenated trace gases to characterize intrusion of bromine and chlorine into the stratosphere and for an analysis of transport processes. We use the GC/MS system GhOST-MS aboard the research aircraft HALO.
- Measurements of very long-lived trace gases in the stratosphere to derive “mean age” of stratospheric air, its variability and possible changes due to changes in transport. We use our GC/MS system GhOST-MS aboard research aircraft, e.g. the German research aircraft HALO, for in-situ observations. In case of balloons, a cryogenic air sample collector and the AirCore sampling system are operated.
- Analysis of global chemistry transport and chemistry climate models, to study the interaction of transport, mixing and chemistry in the atmosphere. We also use these data to verify newly developed concepts and methods, which are then used to interpret our in-situ trace gas measurements. The models include, amongst others, the EMAC and the CLaMS model.
|Figure: Schematic representation of the Brewer-Dobson circulation and Middle Atmosphere Transport. Tropospheric air masses enter the stratosphere via the tropical tropopause, from where they are distributed via different pathways in the stratosphere. Trace gas measurements can help in identifying different pathways and their relative importance.|