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What can ACE-FTS tell us about HCFC-22?

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. Their long lifetimes in the atmosphere make them potentially important contributors to climate change yet few studies have been conducted on their climate ramifications.

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 height information from the ACE-FTS profiles provides information that is complementary to the ground-based sampling that has been used to monitor these species. This talk will highlight results of the global distribution of HCFC-22 as measured by ACE-FTS, including comparisons to other data sets and a chemical transport model.