Project

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IsoConCair: Charakterisierung der Konzentrations- und Isotopenzusammensetzung der Hauptluftkomponenten

English title IsoConCair: Characterisation of concentration and isotope compositions of the main air components
Applicant Leuenberger Markus
Number 170726
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 01.12.2016 - 30.11.2017
Approved amount 160'000.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Other disciplines of Physics
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences

Keywords (4)

isotope; carbon cycle ; oxygen cycle; isotope fractionation

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Charakterisierung des atmosphärischen Sauerstoffs mittels mehrfach und hochpräziser Isotopenverhältnismessungen durch Massenspektrometrie
Lay summary

Dieses Projekt erlaubt uns ein Massenspektrometer anzuschaffen, das einen grossen Messbereich simultaner Massen zu Ladungsverhältnisse aufweist. Der simultane Bereich von 32 bis 36 (Masse zu Ladungsverhältnis) erlaubt uns verschiedene Isotopenverhältnisse an Sauerstoff zu bestimmten. Insbesondere kann auch Δ17O, auch 17Oexcess genannt, ein skalierter Wert aus 17O/16O und 18O/16O Verhältniswerten, gemessen werden. Im Weiteren können auch Δ35 und Δ36 Werte bestimmt werden. Diese Werte tragen ein Mischsignal, welches durch Fraktionierungsprozesse beim Austausch mit der Biosphäre und der Stratosphäre auftreten. Durch diese Messungen erwarten wir zusätzliche Informationen über die Gründe der hohen Variabilität der terrestrischen Biosphäre.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.03.2017

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Characterization of atmospheric oxygen based on high precision, multi-collector isotope ratio mass spectrometry.
Lay summary
This project allows us to purchase a dedicated mass spectrometer with a wide geometry for simultaneous recording of mass to charge ratios from 32 to 36 with highest precision. The fact that the masses from 32 through to 36 are measured simultaneously allows us to perform high precision measurements of all isotopologues of atmospheric molecular oxygen, including Δ17O (a 17Oexcess value determined from a 17O/16O to a scaled 18O/16O value) as well as Δ35 and Δ36. This instrument gives us the opportunity to to determine the isotopic composition of atmospheric oxygen among others. This composition carries a mixed signal originating from fractionations associated with the terrestrial biosphere exchange, stratospheric O2 and CO2 isotope exchange and evapotranspiration. We expect further constraints on the strongly variable terrestrial biosphere uptake from these measurements.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.03.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Center for Isotope Research, University of Groningen (Prof. Dr. H. Meijer, Prof. Dr. H. Chen) Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
University of California Los Angeles (Prof. Dr. Ed Young) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (Prof. Heimann, Dr. Jordan) Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Prof. Dr. R. Keeling) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
University of Utrecht (Prof. Dr. Th. Röckmann) Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: radio, television +3°C SRF 1 German-speaking Switzerland 2017

Awards

Title Year
Beförderung zum Ausserordentlicher Professor für Experimentalphysik, insbesondere Klima- und Umweltphysik an der Philosophisch-naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät gemäss Beschluss der Universitätsleitung sowie Mitdirektor des Physikalischen Instituts. Die damit verbundenen verhandelten Antrittskredite im Umfang von 225000 CHF wurden vollumfänglich für die Anschaffung der zwei Massenspektrometer verwendet. Siehe auch Angaben unter Drittmittel. 2016

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
172550 Klima- und Umweltphysik: Isotope im Erdklimasystem (icoCEP) 01.04.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)
135152 Klima- und Umweltphysik 01.04.2011 Project funding (Div. I-III)
157172 Beitrag an den Unterhalt und Betrieb der Hochalpinen Forschungsstationen Jungfraujoch und Gornergrat, 2015-2017 01.01.2015 Research Infrastructure
173691 ICOS-CH Phase 2 01.07.2017 Research Infrastructure
148992 ICOS-CH: Integrated Carbon Observation System in Switzerland 01.07.2013 Research Infrastructure

Abstract

With the decision taken in Paris last year and recently signed in New York to remain below a two degrees increase in global temperature, the governments of most countries clearly demonstrated their willingness to cope with CO2 emissions.Therefore, we require additional information regarding how much carbon is emitted to the atmosphere since the uncertainty of CO2 concentration projections and their associated temperature evolution for the next few decades critically depend on it. As important is where the emitted CO2 distributes to, therefore quantification of the partitioning of emitted carbon to the biosphere, the ocean and the atmosphere is important and allows to verify reported emissions. Combined CO2 and O2/N2 as well as combined CO2 and d13C of CO2 measurements are methods for such a separation. However, both methods exhibit defi-ciencies that call for additional measurements, such as argon to nitrogen ratio (Ar/N2). Argon and nitrogen are hardly affected by biosphere-atmosphere exchange processes but mainly by the ocean solubility variability on diurnal, seasonal and inter-annual time-scales. This added knowledge will lead to a better constraint of O2 degassing from the ocean and in turn, with well-determined, process specific carbon-oxidation ratios at hand, to an improved carbon flux partitioning.With this proposal we ask for financial support to purchase (i) an isotope ratio mass spectrometer from Isoprime that will be placed at the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch to perform measurements of Ar/N2 parallel to those of O2/N2 and CO2 already running there and (ii) a specifically equipped isotope ratio mass spectrometer with a double inlet system for high-precision clumped isotope research mainly on O2 and CO2 including CO2 from compound specific dissolved organic substances. The second instrument allows us among others to determine the isotopic composition of atmospheric oxygen with highest precision. This composition carries a mixed signal originating from fractionations associated with the terrestrial biosphere exchange, stratospheric O2 and CO2 isotope exchange and evapotranspiration. We expect further constraints on the strongly variable terrestrial biosphere uptake from these measurements.Having these two instruments running at Jungfraujoch and Bern leads to additional and vital information related (i) to the partitioning of CO2 emissions (ii) to fractionation processes of atmospheric molecular oxygen relevant for stratosphere troposphere exchange and biosphere-atmosphere oxygen exchange and (iii) to the ocean surface temperature seasonality within the footprint of Jungfraujoch and most prob-ably to many additional not yet visible applications from other potential users.
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