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Strong evidence for negligible methyl chloroform (CH3CCl3) emissions from biomass burning


With the phase-out of industrial methyl chloroform (MCF) production, the atmospheric burden of this ozone-depleting gas has rapidly declined. Therefore any non-industrial sources are taking on greater significance in the MCF budget. The only natural MCF source that has been proposed, biomass burning, has been reported to emit up to 2-10 Gg MCF yr-1. We have re-examined MCF data for thousands of airborne and ground-based air samples collected by our group since 1990 that were directly impacted by major biomass burning sources. Without exception, we have found no positive evidence that MCF is released from biomass burning. Our results indicate that global biomass burning emissions of MCF have been significantly overestimated and are unlikely to exceed 0.014 Gg MCF yr-1. Lowering the uncertainty regarding the magnitude of the global MCF biomass burning source may extend its period of usefulness for determining global abundances and trends of the hydroxyl radical (OH). Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.

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