Articles | Volume 14, issue 3
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-14-2515-2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-14-2515-2021
Research article
 | 
31 Mar 2021
Research article |  | 31 Mar 2021

A method for resolving changes in atmospheric He ∕ N2 as an indicator of fossil fuel extraction and stratospheric circulation

Benjamin Birner, William Paplawsky, Jeffrey Severinghaus, and Ralph F. Keeling

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Latest update: 22 May 2024
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Short summary
The atmospheric helium-to-nitrogen ratio is a promising indicator for circulation changes in the upper atmosphere and fossil fuel burning by humans. We present a very precise analysis method to determine changes in the helium-to-nitrogen ratio of air samples. The method relies on stabilizing the gas flow to a mass spectrometer and continuous removal of reactive gases. These advances enable new insights and monitoring possibilities for anthropogenic and natural processes.