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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1287
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1287
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 22 Feb 2019

Submitted as: research article | 22 Feb 2019

Atmospheric observations and emission estimates of ozone-depleting chlorocarbons from India

Daniel Say1, Anita L. Ganesan2, Mark F. Lunt3, Matthew Rigby1, Simon O'Doherty1, Chris Harth4, Alistair J. Manning5, Paul B. Krummel6, and Stephane Bauguitte7 Daniel Say et al.
  • 1School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TS, UK
  • 2School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1SS, UK
  • 3School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JW, UK
  • 4Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, USA
  • 5Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, EX1 3PB, UK
  • 6Climate Science Centre, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Aspendale, Australia
  • 7Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements, Cranfield University, MK43 0AL, UK

Abstract. While the Montreal Protocol has been successful in reducing emissions of many long-lived ozone-depleting substances, growth in the global emission rates of unregulated very short-lived substances (VSLS) poses a potential threat to the recovery of the ozone layer. The sources of these VSLS are not well-constrained, with major source regions poorly monitored by existing measurement networks. Given India's rapidly growing economy, its emissions of both regulated chlorocarbons and unregulated VSLS chlorocarbons are suspected to have global significance. Furthermore, VSLS from the Asian monsoon regions have a greater impact on ozone-depletion than those emitted elsewhere due to the ability of monsoon systems to rapidly transport pollutants to the lower stratosphere. Previous atmospheric measurements of chlorocarbons from the Indian sub-continent are scarce. Here we present a new set of observations, derived from flask samples collected during a 2-month aircraft campaign in India and use these measurements to infer India's chlorocarbon emissions. We show that emissions of carbon tetrachloride from northern and central India (2.3 (1.5–3.4) Gg yr−1), are likely due to inadvertent production and release during the manufacture of chloromethanes (specifically dichloromethane and chloroform) and account for approximately 7 % of the global total. Emissions of methyl chloroform from the same region were estimated to be 0.07 (0.04–0.10) Gg yr−1 which account for less than 5 % of remaining global emissions. We used a population scaling to estimate India's emissions of the very short-lived chlorocarbons dichloromethane, perchloroethene and chloroform, which were estimated to be 69.2 (55.8–82.9) Gg yr−1, 2.9 (2.5–3.3) Gg yr−1 and 25.7 (21.6–29.9) Gg yr−1 respectively. In the case of dichloromethane, our estimate is consistent with a 3-fold increase in emissions since the last estimate derived from atmospheric data in 2008.

Daniel Say et al.
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Daniel Say et al.
Daniel Say et al.
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Short summary
India is a potentially significant source of chlorocarbons, gases typically used as solvents and feedstocks. Given the potential for these species to deplete stratospheric ozone, understanding their sources is important. We use flask measurements collected from an aircraft to infer India's chlorocarbon emissions. We link emissions of carbon tetrachloride to the industrial production of other chloromethanes, and provide evidence for rapid growth in India's emissions of dichloromethane.
India is a potentially significant source of chlorocarbons, gases typically used as solvents and...
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