Articles | Volume 14, issue 3
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 2515–2527, 2021
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 2515–2527, 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.

Related authors

Short-term variability of atmospheric helium revealed through a cryo-enrichment method
Benjamin Birner, Eric Morgan, and Ralph F. Keeling
Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss.,,, 2022
Revised manuscript under review for AMT
Short summary
Gravitational separation of Ar∕N2 and age of air in the lowermost stratosphere in airborne observations and a chemical transport model
Benjamin Birner, Martyn P. Chipperfield, Eric J. Morgan, Britton B. Stephens, Marianna Linz, Wuhu Feng, Chris Wilson, Jonathan D. Bent, Steven C. Wofsy, Jeffrey Severinghaus, and Ralph F. Keeling
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 12391–12408,,, 2020
Short summary
The influence of layering and barometric pumping on firn air transport in a 2-D model
Benjamin Birner, Christo Buizert, Till J. W. Wagner, and Jeffrey P. Severinghaus
The Cryosphere, 12, 2021–2037,,, 2018
Short summary

Related subject area

Subject: Gases | Technique: Laboratory Measurement | Topic: Instruments and Platforms
Laser-induced sublimation extraction for centimeter-resolution multi-species greenhouse gas analysis on ice cores
Lars Mächler, Daniel Baggenstos, Florian Krauss, Jochen Schmitt, Bernhard Bereiter, Remo Walther, Christoph Reinhard, Béla Tuzson, Lukas Emmenegger, and Hubertus Fischer
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 16, 355–372,,, 2023
Short summary
Ozone reactivity measurement of biogenic volatile organic compound emissions
Detlev Helmig, Alex Guenther, Jacques Hueber, Ryan Daly, Wei Wang, Jeong-Hoo Park, Anssi Liikanen, and Arnaud P. Praplan
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 15, 5439–5454,,, 2022
Short summary
Comparison of two photolytic calibration methods for nitrous acid
Andrew J. Lindsay and Ezra C. Wood
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 15, 5455–5464,,, 2022
Short summary
Measurement of enantiomer percentages for five monoterpenes from six conifer species by cartridge-tube-based passive sampling adsorption–thermal desorption (ps-ATD)
Ying Wang, Wentai Luo, Todd N. Rosenstiel, and James F. Pankow
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 15, 4651–4661,,, 2022
Short summary
Identification, monitoring, and reaction kinetics of reactive trace species using time-resolved mid-infrared quantum cascade laser absorption spectroscopy: development, characterisation, and initial results for the CH2OO Criegee intermediate
Zara S. Mir, Matthew Jamieson, Nicholas R. Greenall, Paul W. Seakins, Mark A. Blitz, and Daniel Stone
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 15, 2875–2887,,, 2022
Short summary

Cited articles

Arblaster, J. M., Gillett, N. P., Calvo, N., Forster, P. M., Polvani, L. M., Son, S.-W., Waugh, D. W., and Young, P. J.: Stratospheric ozone changes and climate, Chapter 4, Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2014, Global Ozone Research and Monitoring Project – Report No. 55. Geneva, Switzerland, 2014. 
Baggenstos, D., Häberli, M., Schmitt, J., Shackleton, S. A., Birner, B., Severinghaus, J. P., Kellerhals, T., and Fischer, H.: Earth's radiative imbalance from the Last Glacial Maximum to the present, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 116, 14881–14886,, 2019. 
Belikov, D., Sugawara, S., Ishidoya, S., Hasebe, F., Maksyutov, S., Aoki, S., Morimoto, S., and Nakazawa, T.: Three-dimensional simulation of stratospheric gravitational separation using the NIES global atmospheric tracer transport model, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 5349–5361,, 2019. 
Bereiter, B., Shackleton, S., Baggenstos, D., Kawamura, K., and Severinghaus, J.: Mean global ocean temperatures during the last glacial transition, Nature, 553, 39–44,, 2018. 
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,, 2020. 
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.