2008 South Pole Firn Air Methane IsotopesEntry ID: sowers_0739491
Abstract: This project will involve the measurement of methane and other trace gases in firn air collected at South Pole, Antarctica. The analyses will include: methane isotopes, light non-methane hydrocarbons (ethane, propane, and n-butane), sulfur gases (OCS, CS2), and methyl halides (CH3Cl and CH3Br). The atmospheric burdens of these trace gases reflect changes in atmospheric OH, biomass burning, ... biogenic activity in terrestrial, oceanic, and wetland ecosystems, and industrial/agricultural activity. The goal of this project is to develop atmospheric histories for these trace gases over the last century through examination of depth profiles of these gases in South Pole firn air. The project will involve two phases: 1) a field campaign at South Pole, Antarctica to drill two firn holes and fill a total of ~200 flasks from depths reaching 120 m, 2) analysis of firn air at UCI, Penn State University, and several other collaborating laboratories. Atmospheric histories will be inferred from the measurements using a one dimensional advective/diffusive model of firn air transport.
Purpose: The project will involve two phases: 1) a field campaign at South Pole, Antarctica to drill two firn holes and fill a total of ~200 flasks from depths reaching 120 m, 2) analysis of firn air at University of California, Irvine, Penn State University, and several other collaborating laboratories. Atmospheric histories will be inferred from the measurements using a one dimensional ... advective/diffusive model of firn air transport. This study will provide new information about the recent changes in atmospheric levels of these gases, providing about a 90 year long time series record that connects the earlier surface and firn air measurements to present day. The project will also explore the possibility of in- situ production of light non-methane hydrocarbons in firn air that is relevant to the interpretation of ice core records. The broader impacts of this research are that it has the potential for significant societal impact by improving our understanding of climate change and man's input to the atmosphere.
Start Date: 2008-12-01Stop Date: 2009-01-31
ISO Topic Category
Data Set Progress
Email: todd.sowers5 at gmail.com, sowers at geosc.psu.edu
237 Deike Building, Dept. of Geosciences Penn State University
City: University Park
Province or State: Pennsylvania
Postal Code: 16802
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Phone: +1 (303) 492-6199
Fax: +1 (303) 492-2468
Email: nsidc at nsidc.org
National Snow and Ice Data Center CIRES, 449 UCB University of Colorado
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80309-0449
Battle, M., et al. (1996), Histories of atmospheric gases from the firn at South Pole, Nature, 383, 231-235.
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2011-08-08
Last DIF Revision Date: 2016-01-27