The impact of the Montreal Protocol on halocarbon concentrations in northern hemisphere baseline and European air masses at Mace Head, Ireland over a ten year period from 1987-1996

RG Derwent*, PG Simmonds, S O'Doherty, DB Ryall

*Corresponding author for this work

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

47 Citations (Scopus)


The international concern following the discovery of Antarctic stratospheric ozone depletion has prompted unprecedented international action by governments to control the production, sales and usage of a range of ozone-depleting chemicals. These international treaty obligations include the Montreal Protocol and its London and Copenhagen Amendments. They address, amongst many halocarbon species, the chlorofluorocarbons: CFC-11, -12 and -113 and the chlorocarbons: carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform. These chemicals have been routinely monitored at the remote, baseline monitoring station at Mace Head on the Atlantic Ocean coast of Ireland as part of the GAGE/AGAGE programme. The available monitoring data for the period 1987-1996 are presented here with a view to confirming the extent of compliance with the above Protocols on a global and European basis. Daily wind direction sectors provided by EMEP are used to sort the halocarbon data into northern hemisphere baseline air and European polluted air masses and trends have been determined for each wind direction sector. Evidence of the European phase-out of halocarbon usage is clearly apparent in the sorted halocarbon concentrations. A simple climatological long-range transport and a sophisticated Lagrangian air parcel dispersion model have been used to interpret the Mace Head halocarbon measurements and to derive estimates of European emission source strengths for each year. These emission source strengths confirm that the phase-out of halocarbon manufacture and sales is being followed in Europe. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3689-3702
Number of pages14
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1998


  • CFCs
  • CFC-11
  • CFC-12
  • CFC-113
  • carbon tetrachloride
  • methyl chloroform
  • halocarbons
  • baseline monitoring
  • long-term trends
  • European emissions
  • CCL3F
  • CH3CCL3
  • CCL2F2

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