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Using ACE-FTS to explore the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere

The implementation of the Montreal Protocol and its subsequent amendments is one of the greatest environmental success stories of our time.  Following the discovery of the ozone hole over the Antarctic in the 1980s, the production and emission of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were banned.  To fulfill the need for safe, stable refrigerant-propellants, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) were developed to replace CFCs. Although the ozone depletion potential of HCFCs is less than that of CFCs, these families of species are greenhouse gases and their long lifetimes in the atmosphere make them important contributors to climate change.

The Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) is a mission on-board the Canadian satellite SCISAT.  The primary instrument on SCISAT is a high-resolution infrared Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS).  With its large spectral range, the ACE-FTS is capable of measuring a wide range of gases including key CFC and HCFC species.  The focus of this talk will be CFC-11, CFC-12, and HCFC-22. To understand the atmospheric distribution of these species, we use a combined measurement/model approach using satellite observations and model simulations. In particular, we use zonal mean comparisons, probability density functions, and joint probability density functions to explore the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere.