Rapid increase in dichloromethane emissions from China inferred through atmospheric observations

Minde An, Luke M Western, Daniel Say, Liqu Chen, Tom Claxton, Anita L Ganesan, R. Hossaini, Paul B. Krummel, Alistair J Manning, Jens Mühle, Simon O'Doherty, Ronald G. Prinn, Ray F. Weiss, T D S Young, Jianxin Hu*, Bo Yao*, Matthew L Rigby*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
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With the successful implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the atmospheric abundance of ozone-depleting substances continues to decrease slowly and the Antarctic ozone hole is showing signs of recovery. However, growing emissions of unregulated short-lived anthropogenic chlorocarbons are offsetting some of these gains. Here, we report an increase in emissions from China of the industrially produced chlorocarbon, dichloromethane (CH2Cl2). The emissions grew from 231 (213-245) Gg yr-1 in 2011 to 628 (599-658) Gg yr-1 in 2019, with an average annual increase of 13 (12-15) %, primarily from eastern China. The overall increase in CH2Cl2 emissions from China has the same magnitude as the global emission rise of 354 (281-427) Gg yr-1 over the same period. If global CH2Cl2 emissions remain at 2019 levels, they could lead to a delay in Antarctic ozone recovery of around 5 years compared to a scenario with no CH2Cl2 emissions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7279
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2019YFC0214500). We are thankful for the stations personnel who have supported the in situ measurements and daily or weekly canister sampling at SDZ, WLG, LAN, LFS, XGL, JGJ, XGF, AKD, JSA. This work has benefited from the technical expertise of and assistance by the AGAGE (Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment) network including the Medusa GC/MS system technology, calibrations of CH2Cl2 measurements and network operation, as well as Dr. Martin Vollmer from Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. We acknowledge the support from members of Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group at University of Bristol. Measurements at the Mace Head, Trinidad Head, Ragged Point, Cape Matatula, and Cape Grim AGAGE stations are supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (grants NNX-16AC98G to MIT, and NNX16AC97G and NNX16AC96G to SIO). Support also comes from the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS, Contract 1537/06/2018 to the University of Bristol) for Mace Head, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, Contract RA-133-R15-CN-0008 and 1305M319CNRMJ0028 to the University of Bristol) for Ragged Point, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and the Bureau of Meteorology (Australia) for Cape Grim. R.H. is supported by a NERC Independent Research Fellowship (NE/N014375/1) and the NERC ISHOC project (NE/R004927/1). L.M.W. and M.R. received funding from NERC grants NE/ M014851/1, NE/N016548/1 and NE/S004211/1, and L.M.W. received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101030750. A.L.G. was supported by U.K. Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Independent Research Fellowship (NE/ L010992/1).

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