Global emissions of HFC-143a (CH3CF3) and HFC-32 (CH2F2) from in situ and air archive atmospheric observations

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Volume 14, Issue 17, p.9249 - 9258 (2014)





High-frequency, in situ observations from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), for the period 2003 to 2012, combined with archive flask measurements dating back to 1977, have been used to capture the rapid growth of HFC-143a (CH3CF3) and HFC-32 (CH2F2) mole fractions and emissions into the atmosphere. Here we report the first in situ global measurements of these two gases. HFC-143a and HFC-32 are the third and sixth most abundant hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) respectively and they currently make an appreciable contribution to the HFCs in terms of atmospheric radiative forcing (1.7 ± 0.04 and 0.7 ± 0.02 mW m−2 in 2012 respectively). In 2012 the global average mole fraction of HFC-143a was 13.4 ± 0.3 ppt (1σ) in the lower troposphere and its growth rate was 1.4 ± 0.04 ppt yr−1; HFC-32 had a global mean mole fraction of 6.2 ± 0.2 ppt and a growth rate of 1.1 ± 0.04 ppt yr−1 in 2012. The extensive observations presented in this work have been combined with an atmospheric transport model to simulate global atmospheric abundances and derive global emission estimates. It is estimated that 23 ± 3 Gg yr−1 of HFC-143a and 21 ± 11 Gg yr−1 of HFC-32 were emitted globally in 2012, and the emission rates are estimated to be increasing by 7 ± 5% yr−1 for HFC-143a and 14 ± 11% yr−1 for HFC-32.