Articles | Volume 2, issue 2
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 2, 573–591, 2009

Special issue: Tall Tower measurements

Atmos. Meas. Tech., 2, 573–591, 2009

  23 Oct 2009

23 Oct 2009

In-situ measurements of oxygen, carbon monoxide and greenhouse gases from Ochsenkopf tall tower in Germany

R. L. Thompson1, A. C. Manning2, E. Gloor3, U. Schultz1, T. Seifert1, F. Hänsel1, A. Jordan1, and M. Heimann1 R. L. Thompson et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
  • 2School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
  • 3University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Abstract. We present 2.5 years (from June 2006 to December 2008) of in-situ measurements of CO2, O2, CH4, CO, N2O and SF6 mixing ratios sampled from 23, 90 and 163 m above ground on the Ochsenkopf tower in the Fichtelgebirge range, Germany (50°01'49" N, 11°48'30" E, 1022 m a.s.l.). In addition to the in-situ measurements, flask samples are taken at Ochsenkopf at approximately weekly intervals and are subsequently analysed for the mixing ratios of the same species, as well as H2, and the stable isotopes, δ13C, δ18O in CO2. The in-situ measurements of CO2 and O2 from 23 m show substantial diurnal variations that are modulated by biospheric fluxes, combustion of fossil fuels, and by diurnal changes in the planetary boundary layer height. Measurements from 163 m exhibit only very weak diurnal variability, as this height (1185 m a.s.l.) is generally above the nocturnal boundary layer. CH4, CO, N2O and SF6 show little diurnal variation even at 23 m owing to the absence of any significant diurnal change in the fluxes and the absence of any strong local sources or sinks. From the in-situ record, the seasonal cycles of the gas species have been characterized and the multi-annual trends determined. Because the record is short, the calculation of the trend is sensitive to inter-annual variations in the amplitudes of the seasonal cycles. However, for CH4 a significant change in the growth-rate was detected for 2006.5–2008.5 as compared with the global mean from 1999 to 2006 and is consistent with other recent observations of a renewed increasing global growth rate in CH4 since the beginning of 2007.

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