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Interlaboratory comparison of d13C and dD measurements of atmospheric CH4 for combined use of data sets from different laboratories

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Umezawa Taku, Brenninkmeijer Carl A. M., Röckmann Thomas, van der Veen Carina, Tyler Stanley C., Fujita Ryo, Morimoto Shinji, Aoki Shuji, Sowers Todd, Schmitt Jochen, Bock Michael, Beck Jonas, Fischer Hubertus, Michel Sylvia E., Vaughn Bruce H., Miller John B., White James W. C., Brailsford Gordon, Schaefer Hinrich, Sperlich Peter, Brand Willi A., Rothe Michael, Blunier Thomas, Lowry David, et al. ,
Project iCEP - Climate and Environmental Physics: Innovation in ice core science
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
Volume (Issue) 11(2)
Page(s) 1207 - 1231
Title of proceedings Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
DOI 10.5194/amt-11-1207-2018

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Abstract. We report results from a worldwide interlaboratory comparison of samples among laboratories that measure (or measured) stable carbon and hydrogen isotope ratios of atmospheric CH 4 ( δ 13 C-CH 4 and δ D-CH 4 ). The offsets among the laboratories are larger than the measurement reproducibility of individual laboratories. To disentangle plausible measurement offsets, we evaluated and critically assessed a large number of intercomparison results, some of which have been documented previously in the literature. The results indicate significant offsets of δ 13 C-CH 4 and δ D-CH 4 measurements among data sets reported from different laboratories; the differences among laboratories at modern atmospheric CH 4 level spread over ranges of 0.5 ‰ for δ 13 C-CH 4 and 13 ‰ for δ D-CH 4 . The intercomparison results summarized in this study may be of help in future attempts to harmonize δ 13 C-CH 4 and δ D-CH 4 data sets from different laboratories in order to jointly incorporate them into modelling studies. However, establishing a merged data set, which includes δ 13 C-CH 4 and δ D-CH 4 data from multiple laboratories with desirable compatibility, is still challenging due to differences among laboratories in instrument settings, correction methods, traceability to reference materials and long-term data management. Further efforts are needed to identify causes of the interlaboratory measurement offsets and to decrease those to move towards the best use of available δ 13 C-CH 4 and δ D-CH 4 data sets.