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CO, CCl4, CH4 and Rn-222 Concentrations at Low Altitude over the Arctic Ocean in January 1974

Peter E. WilknissNaval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. 20375

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John W. SwinnertonNaval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. 20375

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David J. BressanNaval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. 20375

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Robert A. LamontagneNaval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. 20375

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Reginald E. LarsonNaval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. 20375

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Abstract

Samples of atmospheric Rn, CO, CH4, Freon-11 and CC1CCl4 were taken at various altitudes over the Arctic Ocean north of the Greenland Sea. The concentrations of these components were correlated and interpreted with respect to varying meteorological conditions related to air mass movements. Pronounced concentration gradients were seen in frontal zones, and evidence is found for low-level flow of continental air, both from North America and Europe, into the Arctic region. Comparisons show that Arctic air contains more Rn, CO and CH4 in winter than in summer. It is suggested that the Arctic Ocean could act as a sink (rather thin a source) for atmospheric CO during winter months. The rapid transport of Freon-11 from Europe to the Arctic is also in evidence, while the, observed behavior of CCl4 is difficult to interpret.

Abstract

Samples of atmospheric Rn, CO, CH4, Freon-11 and CC1CCl4 were taken at various altitudes over the Arctic Ocean north of the Greenland Sea. The concentrations of these components were correlated and interpreted with respect to varying meteorological conditions related to air mass movements. Pronounced concentration gradients were seen in frontal zones, and evidence is found for low-level flow of continental air, both from North America and Europe, into the Arctic region. Comparisons show that Arctic air contains more Rn, CO and CH4 in winter than in summer. It is suggested that the Arctic Ocean could act as a sink (rather thin a source) for atmospheric CO during winter months. The rapid transport of Freon-11 from Europe to the Arctic is also in evidence, while the, observed behavior of CCl4 is difficult to interpret.

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