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Long-term tropospheric trend of octafluorocyclobutane (c-C4F8 or PFC-318)

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Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 261–269, 2012 doi:10.5194/acp-12-261-2012 © Author(s) 2012. CC Attribution 3.0 License. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Long-term tropospheric trend of octafluorocyclobutane (c-C4F8 or PFC-318) D. E. Oram1, F. S. Mani2, J. C. Laube2, M. J. Newland2, C. E. Reeves1, W. T. Sturges2, S. A. Penkett2, C. A. M. Brenninkmeijer3, T. Ro¨ckmann4, and P. J. Fraser5 1National Centre for Atmospheric Science, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK 2School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK 3Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Air Chemistry Division, Mainz, Germany 4Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands 5Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research/CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, Australia Correspondence to: D. E. Oram ([email protected]) Received: 18 May 2011 – Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 4 July 2011 Revised: 2 November 2011 – Accepted: 21 November 2011 – Published: 5 January 2012 Abstract. Air samples collected at Cape Grim, Tasmania between 1978 and 2008 and during a series of more recent aircraft sampling programmes have been analysed to deter- mine the atmospheric abundance and trend of octafluorocy- clobutane (c-C4F8 or PFC-318). c-C4F8 has an atmospheric lifetime in excess of 3000 yr and a global warming potential (GWP) of 10 300 (100 yr time horizon), making it one of the most potent greenhouse gases detected in the atmosphere to date. The abundance of c-C4F8 in the Southern Hemisphere has risen from 0.35 ppt in 1978 to 1.2 ppt in 2010, and is currently increasing at a rate of around 0.03 ppt yr−1. It is the third most abundant perfluorocarbon (PFC) in the present day atmosphere, behind CF4 (∼75 ppt) and C2F6 (∼4 ppt). Although a number of potential sources of c-C4F8 have been reported, including the electronics and semi-conductor in- dustries, there remains a large disc

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