Project

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PRoject to Initiate isotopic MEasurements on METHANE in ice cores (primeMETHANE)

Applicant Fischer Hubertus
Number 121293
Funding scheme R'EQUIP
Research institution Klima- und Umweltphysik Physikalisches Institut Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Other disciplines of Physics
Start/End 01.07.2008 - 31.12.2010
Approved amount 164'250.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Other disciplines of Physics
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology

Keywords (6)

biogeochemistry; paleoclimate; methane; ice cores; polar ice cores; CH4

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Air enclosures in polar ice cores represent the only direct archive of the paleoatmosphere. Investigations on polar ice cores revealed that the atmospheric CH_4 concentration was subject to substantial variations during the last glacial cycles. The sources of these CH_4 changes and their feedback on (rapid) climate changes, however, are still largely unknown. The past source composition and especially the potential role of a sudden release of large amounts of CH_4 from marine gas hydrates in parallel to rapid warmings remains elusive. The scientific objective is, therefore, to achieve a differentiation of the contributions of different CH_4 sources to the paleoatmospheric CH_4 changes using the carbon and hydrogen isotopic signature of CH_4 in polar ice cores. Due to the strong sample constraints in ice core research such isotopic measurements can only be performed by novel gas chromatography -- isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC irmMS) methods. Accordingly, with my start as new professor for experimental climate and environmental physics at the University of Bern, a mass spectrometric method for d13 CH_4 and dD(CH_4 ) will be established. To this end the University of Bern will purchase two new designated mass spectrometers (about 430,000 CHF). The cost for the set up of two peripheries (own development) required for the extraction and pretreatment of CH_4 from ice samples for the d13 CH_4 and dD(CH_4 ) analysis, respectively, are covered by this R'Equip proposal.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
Improving accuracy and precision of ice core δD(CH4) analyses using methane pre-pyrolysis and hydrogen post-pyrolysis trapping and subsequent chromatographic separation
Bock M., Schmitt J., Beck J., Schneider R., Fischer H. (2014), Improving accuracy and precision of ice core δD(CH4) analyses using methane pre-pyrolysis and hydrogen post-pyrolysis trapping and subsequent chromatographic separation, in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 7, 1999-2012.
Online technique for isotope and mixing ratios of CH4, N2O, Xe and mixing ratios of organic trace gases on a single ice core sample
Schmitt J., Seth B., Bock M., Fischer H. (2014), Online technique for isotope and mixing ratios of CH4, N2O, Xe and mixing ratios of organic trace gases on a single ice core sample, in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 7(8), 2645-2665.
Independent variations of CH4 emissions and isotopic composition over the past 160,000 years
Möller L., Sowers T., Bock M., Spahni R., Behrens M., Schmitt J., Miller H., Fischer H. (2013), Independent variations of CH4 emissions and isotopic composition over the past 160,000 years, in Nature Geoscience, 6(10), 885-890.
On the interference of Kr during carbon isotope analysis of methane using continuous-flow combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry
Schmitt J., Seth B., Bock M., Van Der Veen C., Möller L., Sapart C.J., Prokopiou M., Sowers T., Röckmann T., Fischer H. (2013), On the interference of Kr during carbon isotope analysis of methane using continuous-flow combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry, in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 6(5), 1425-1445.
A gas chromatography/pyrolysis/isotope ratio mass spectrometry system for high-precision δD measurements of atmospheric methane extracted from ice cores
Bock M., Schmitt J., Behrens M., Möller L., Schneider R., Sapart C., Fischer H. (2010), A gas chromatography/pyrolysis/isotope ratio mass spectrometry system for high-precision δD measurements of atmospheric methane extracted from ice cores, in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 24(5), 621-633.
Hydrogen isotopes preclude marine hydrate CH4 emissions at the onset of dansgaard-oeschger events
Bock M., Schmitt J., Möller L., Spahni R., Blunier T., Fischer H. (2010), Hydrogen isotopes preclude marine hydrate CH4 emissions at the onset of dansgaard-oeschger events, in Science, 328(5986), 1686-1689.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Center for Ice and Climate, University of Copenhagen, Dr. T. Blunier Denmark (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
IMAU, University of Utrecht, Dr. T. Röckmann, Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
LGGE CNRS, Dr. J. Chappellaz France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Awards

Title Year
Dr. Michael Bock, Nachwuchspreis der Greinacher Stiftung für die beste Doktorarbeit 2010
Dr. Michael Bock, Preis für die beste Doktorarbeit in Physik, Philosophisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Universität Bern 2010

Abstract

Air enclosures in polar ice cores represent the only direct archive of the paleoatmosphere. Investigations on polar ice cores revealed that the atmospheric CH4 concentration was subject to substantial variations during the last glacial cycles. The sources of these CH4 changes and their feedback on (rapid) climate changes, however, are not yet unambiguously constrained. Especially, the potential role of a sudden release of large amounts of CH4 from marine gas hydrates in parallel to rapid warmings remains elusive. The scientific objective is, therefore, a differentiation of the contributions of different CH4 sources to the paleoatmospheric CH4 changes using the carbon and hydrogen isotopic signature of CH4 in polar ice cores. Due to the strong sample constraints in ice core research such isotopic measurements can only be performed by novel gas chromatography - isotope ratio mass spectrometry methods. Accordingly, within the new professorship for experimental climate and environmental physics at the University of Bern, a mass spectrometric method for d13CH4 and dD(CH4) will be established, which has been previously developed during my work at the Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven (AWI). To this end the University of Bern will pay for the acquisition of two new designated mass spectrometers (about 430,000 CHF). The cost for the set up of two peripheries (own development) required for the extraction and pretreatment of CH4 from ice samples for the d13CH4 and dD(CH4) analysis, respectively, are requested within this R’Equip proposal.
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