Tropospheric halocompounds and nitrous oxide monitored at a remote site in the Mediterranean

F. Artuso, P. Chamard, S. Chiavarini, A. di Sarra, D. Meloni, S. Piacentino, M.D. Sferlazzo

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Analysis of time series and trends of nitrous oxide (N2O) and halocompounds weekly monitored at the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa are discussed. Atmospheric N2O levels showed a linear upward growth rate of 0.78ppb yr-1and mixing ratios comparable with Northern Hemisphere global stations. CFC-11 and CFC-12 time series displayed a decline consistent with their phase-out. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) replacing compounds and SF6exhibited an increasing temporal behaviour. The most rapid growth rate was recorded for HFC-134a with a value of 9.6% yr-1. The industrial solvents CCl4and CH3CCl3, banned by the Montreal Protocol, showed opposite trends. While CH3CCl3reported an expected decay of -1.8ppt yr-1, an increasing rate of 5.7ppt yr-1was recorded for CCl4and it is probably related to its relatively long lifetime and persisting emissions. Chlorinated halomethanes showed seasonality with a maximum in early April and a minimum at the end of September. Halon-1301 and Halon-1211 displayed a decreasing trend consistent with industry emission estimates.An interspecies correlation analysis gave positive high correlations between HCFC-22 and HFC-134a (+0.84) highlighting the common extensive employment as refrigerants. Sharing sources inferred the high coupling between CH3Cl and CH3Br (+0.73) and between CHCl3and CH2Cl2(+0.77). A singular strong relationship (+0.55) between HFC-134a and CH3I suggested the influence of an unknown anthropogenic source of CH3I.Constraining of source and sink distribution was carried out by transport studies. Results were compared with the European Environment Agency (EEA) emission database. In contrast with the emission database results, our back trajectory analysis highlighted the release of large amounts of HFC-134a and SF6from Eastern Europe. Observations also showed that African SF6emissions may be considerable. Leakages from SF6insulated electrical equipments located in the industrialized Northern African areas justify our observations. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4944 - 4953
Number of pages10
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Artuso, F., Chamard, P., Chiavarini, S., di Sarra, A., Meloni, D., Piacentino, S., & Sferlazzo, M. D. (2010). Tropospheric halocompounds and nitrous oxide monitored at a remote site in the Mediterranean. Atmospheric Environment, 44(38), 4944 - 4953.