Methane, Ozone and Other Trace Gases

Bounding the roles of methane, ozone and trace gases on the Arctic climate with in situ observations

Research Group Ozone

During this year’s ASSW meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska, the air Pollution in the Arctic: Climate, Environment and Societies (PACES) project will hold a meeting entitled “Arctic air pollution: A collaborative framework for natural and social science”.

The Ozone, Methane, and Other Trace Gases group was initiated in November 2015. Since the organization of the working group, a high priority has been given to examine the types of ozone measurements being collected at Arctic sites. Specifically, a brief example of the analysis of ozone at Summit station can be seen below. In the next several months, the group will move to also include analysis of methane and other trace gases.


Meeting notes from the working group can be found at the bottom of the page.


Arctic ozone – key science questions

During the first few months of the working group, a presentation was given to highlight the goals of the working group with respect to ozone analysis. Some of the major goals are as follows:

* Consistent standardization of data management

* Sharing cold weather observing practices

* Data quality control procedures

* Determining what observations the modeling community would like to see in a merged observational data set


The entire presentation is attached below.

Tropospheric ozone, and particularly its regionally diverse interactions with the Arctic ecosystem, make it another trace gas of interest for IASOA science.  For example, surface ozone depletion events were first observed at Alert and Barrow and were linked to atmospheric halogen chemistry (bromine) processes.  Recent research indicates that the ozone depletion events are related to increased open ocean area as the Arctic icepack retreats; the resulting open ocean provides a source for the ozone destroying halogens.  A side product of thi

Characterization and improved process understanding of Arctic trace gases (particularly methane and ozone) has been identified as an important focal area; a Trace Gases Working Group to address this area is currently being organized.  Globally, CO2 and CH4 are responsible for ~82% of increased direct radiative forcing since 1750 by long-lived greenhouse gases.  Increased radiative forcing by CO2 has been measured at two Northern Hemisphere sites and found to be consistent with radiative transfer models.  Natural emissions of these gases are of

Publication Highlights

ISO (1998): ISO 13964: 1998 Ambient air - Determination of ozone - Ultraviolet photometric method (International Organization for Standardization), 13pp.
 Helmig, D., Ganzeveld, L., Butler, T., and Oltmans, S. J.: The role of ozone atmosphere-snow gas exchange on polar, boundary-layer tropospheric ozone – a review and sensitivity analysis, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 7, 15-30, doi:10.5194/acp-7-15-2007, 2007.
Helmig D., L. D. Cohen, F. Bocquet, S. Oltmans, A. A. Grachev and W. D. Neff (April 2009): Spring and summertime diurnal surface ozone fluxes over the polar snow at Summit, Greenland. Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L08809. doi:10.1029/2008GL036549
Helmig, D., et al. (2012), Ozone dynamics and snow-atmosphere exchanges during ozone depletion events at Barrow, Alaska, J. Geophys. Res., 117, D20303, doi:10.1029/2012JD017531.
Norris, J.E., J. Viallon, P. Moussay, F.R. Guenther and R.I. Wielgosz (2008): Results of Temperature Gradient and Path-length Bias Modifications to NIST Ozone Reference Standards. In: Air & Waste Management 101st Annual Conference, (Portland, Oregon, USA)
Oltmans, S.J., B.J. Johnson and J.M. Harris (2012): Springtime boundary layer ozone depletion at Barrow, Alaska: Meteorological influence, year-to-year variation, and long-term change, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, D00R18, doi:10.1029/2011JD016889
Simpson, W. R., R. von Glasow, K. Riedel, P. Anderson, P. Ariya, J. Bottenheim, J. Burrows, L.J. Carpenter, U. Frieß, M.E. Goodsite, D. Heard, M. Hutterli, H.-W. Jacobi, L. Kaleschke, B. Neff, J. Plane, U. Platt, A. Richter, H. Roscoe, R. Sander, P. Shepson, J. Sodeau, A. Steffen, T. Wagner and E. Wolff (2007): Halogens and their role in polar boundary-layer ozone depletion. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 7: 4375-4418.


Irina Petropavlovskikh | Summit, Barrow

Audra McClure | Summit, Barrow

Sara Crepinsek | Tiksi

Ove Hermansen | Ny-Alesund

Mike Shaw | Alert

Timo Salmi | Pallas

Mika Vestenius | Pallas

Henrik Skov | Villum