Continental-scale contributions to the global CFC-11 emission increase between...

Hu, L., S. Montzka, F. Moore, E. Hintsa, G. Dutton, M. C. Siso, K. Thoning, R. W. Portmann, K. McKain, C. Sweeney, I. Vimont, J. D. Nance, B. Hall, and S. C. Wofsy (2022), Continental-scale contributions to the global CFC-11 emission increase between 2012 and 2017, Atmos. Chem. Phys., doi:10.5194/acp-22-2891-2022.

The detection of increasing global CFC-11 emissions after 2012 alerted society to a possible violation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MP). This alert resulted in parties to the MP taking urgent actions. As a result, atmospheric measurements made in 2019 suggest a sharp decline in global CFC-11 emissions. Despite the success in the detection and mitigation of part of this problem, regions fully responsible for the recent global emission changes in CFC-11 have not yet been identified. Roughly two thirds (60 ± 40 %) of the emission increase between 2008–2012 and 2014–2017 and two thirds (60 ± 30 %) of the decline between 2014–2017 and 2019 were explained by regional emission changes in eastern mainland China. Here, we used atmospheric CFC-11 measurements made from two global aircraft surveys – the HIAPER (High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research) Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO) in November 2009–September 2011 and the Atmospheric Tomography Mission (ATom) in August 2016–May 2018, in combination with the global CFC-11 measurements made by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration during these two periods – to derive global and regional emission changes in CFC-11. Our results suggest Asia accounted for the largest fractions of global CFC-11 emissions in both periods: 43 (37–52) % during November 2009–September 2011 and 57 (49–62) % during August 2016– May 2018. Asia was also primarily responsible for the emission increase between these two periods, accounting for 86 (59–115) % of the global CFC-11 emission rise between the two periods. Besides eastern mainland China, temperate western Asia and tropical Asia also contributed significantly to global CFC-11 emissions during both periods and likely to the global CFC-11 emission increase. The atmospheric observations further provide strong constraints on CFC-11 emissions from North America and Europe, suggesting that each of them accounted for 10 %–15 % of global CFC-11 emissions during the HIPPO period and smaller fractions in the ATom period. For South America, Africa, and Australia, the derived regional emissions had larger dependence on the prior assumptions of emissions and emission changes due to a lower sensitivity of the observations considered here to emissions from these regions. However, significant increases in CFC-11 emissions from southern hemispheric lands were not likely due to the observed increase of north-to-south interhemispheric gradients in atmospheric CFC-11 mole fractions from 2012–2017.

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Tropospheric Composition Program (TCP)