Growing Atmospheric Emissions of Sulfuryl Fluoride

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Volume 126, Issue 9, p.e2020JD034327 (2021)





AGAGE, emissions, global atmosphere, SO2F2


Abstract The potent greenhouse gas sulfuryl fluoride (SO2F2) is increasingly used as a fumigant, replacing methyl bromide, whose structural and soil fumigation uses have been phased out under the Montreal Protocol. We use measurements on archived air samples and in situ observations from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) and a box model of the global atmosphere to show a global increase of SO2F2 mole fraction from 0.3 ± 0.02 to 2.5 ± 0.08 ppt along with a global increase in emissions from 0.5 ± 0.4 Gg yr?1 to 2.9 ± 0.4 Gg yr?1 from 1978 to 2019. Based on a hybrid model incorporating bottom-up industry data and a top-down downscaling approach, we estimate the spatial distribution and trend in SO2F2 regional emissions between 2000 and 2019 and propose that the global emissions increase is driven by the growing use of SO2F2 in structural fumigation in North America and in postharvest treatment of grains and other agricultural products worldwide.