Articles | Volume 14, issue 3
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 2515–2527, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-14-2515-2021
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 2515–2527, 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 et al.

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Revised manuscript under review for AMT
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Cited articles

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Birner, B., Chipperfield, M. P., Morgan, E. J., Stephens, B. B., Linz, M., Feng, W., Wilson, C., Bent, J. D., Wofsy, S. C., Severinghaus, J., and Keeling, R. F.: Gravitational separation of Ar/N2 and age of air in the lowermost stratosphere in airborne observations and a chemical transport model, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 12391–12408, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-20-12391-2020, 2020. 
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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.