Rapid increase in ozone-depleting chloroform emissions from China

Xuekun Fang*, Sunyoung Park, Takuya Saito, Rachel Tunnicliffe, Anita L. Ganesan, Matthew Rigby, Shanlan Li, Yoko Yokouchi, Paul J. Fraser, Christina M. Harth, Paul B. Krummel, Jens Mühle, Simon O’Doherty, Peter K. Salameh, Peter G. Simmonds, Ray F. Weiss, Dickon Young, Mark F. Lunt, Alistair J. Manning, Alicia GressentRonald G. Prinn

*Corresponding author for this work

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

40 Citations (Scopus)
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Chloroform contributes to the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer. However, due to its short lifetime and predominantly natural sources, it is not included in the Montreal Protocol that regulates the production and uses of ozone-depleting substances. Atmospheric chloroform mole fractions were relatively stable or slowly decreased during 1990–2010. Here we show that global chloroform mole fractions increased after 2010, based on in situ chloroform measurements at seven stations around the world. We estimate that the global chloroform emissions grew at the rate of 3.5% yr−1 between 2010 and 2015 based on atmospheric model simulations. We used two regional inverse modelling approaches, combined with observations from East Asia, to show that emissions from eastern China grew by 49 (41–59) Gg between 2010 and 2015, a change that could explain the entire increase in global emissions. We suggest that if chloroform emissions continuously grow at the current rate, the recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer above Antarctica could be delayed by several years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-93
Number of pages5
JournalNature Geoscience
Issue number2
Early online date21 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


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