Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 8, 20113-20154, 2008
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/8/20113/2008/
doi:10.5194/acpd-8-20113-2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide observations from two European coastal stations 2000–2005: continental influence, trend changes and APO climatology
C. Sirignano1, R. E. M. Neubert1, H. A. J. Meijer1, and C. Rödenbeck2
1Centre for Isotope Research, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands
2Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Hans-Knoell-Straße 10, 07745, Jena, Germany

Abstract. Seeking for baseline conditions has biased the carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring networks towards remote marine stations, missing part of the variability that is due to regional anthropogenic as well as land biota activity. We present here a five-year record of atmospheric CO2 mixing ratios and oxygen/nitrogen ratios (O2/N2) from the coastal stations Lutjewad (LUT), the Netherlands and Mace Head (MHD), Ireland, derived from flask samples. Oxygen mixing ratios, concurrently measured with CO2, help determine regional CO2 fluxes by separating land fluxes from sea fluxes. Mace Head is the closest marine baseline station to Lutjewad, located at the same latitude, and therefore is taken as a reference. During the period of this study, we observed an average increase of CO2 in the atmosphere of (1.7±0.2) μmol*(mol dry air)−1 per year, and a change of the O2 fraction of (−20±1) per meg per year. The observed acceleration of the oxygen decrease during the study period seems to confirm the existence of a net oxygen sink other than the combustion processes alone. The difference between the CO2 summer minimum and the winter maximum is 14.4 μmol*(mol dry air)−1 and 16.1 μmol*(mol dry air)−1 at Mace Head and Lutjewad, respectively, while the opposite variation in the O2 signal equals 113 per meg and 153 per meg, respectively. We also studied the APO (atmospheric potential oxygen) tracer at both stations. By this analysis, evidence has been found that we need to be careful when using APO close to anthropogenic CO2 sources. It could be biased by combustion-derived CO2, and models have to take into account daily and seasonal variations in the anthropogenic CO2 production in order to be able to simulate APO over the continents.

Citation: Sirignano, C., Neubert, R. E. M., Meijer, H. A. J., and Rödenbeck, C.: Atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide observations from two European coastal stations 2000–2005: continental influence, trend changes and APO climatology, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 8, 20113-20154, doi:10.5194/acpd-8-20113-2008, 2008.
 
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