Precise atmospheric oxygen measurements with a paramagnetic oxygen analyzer

Manning, Andrew C., Keeling, Ralph F. and Severinghaus, Jeffrey P. (1999) Precise atmospheric oxygen measurements with a paramagnetic oxygen analyzer. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 13 (4). pp. 1107-1115. ISSN 0886-6236

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Abstract

A methodology has been developed for making continuous, high-precision measurements of atmospheric oxygen concentrations by modifying a commercially available paramagnetic oxygen analyzer. Incorporating several design improvements, an effective precision of 0.2 ppm O-2 from repeated measurements over a 1-hour interval was achieved. This is sufficient to detect background changes in atmospheric O-2 to a level that constrains various aspects of the global carbon cycle. The analyzer was used to measure atmospheric O-2 in a semicontinuous fashion from air sampled from the end of Scripps Pier, La Jolla, California, and data from a 1-week period in August 1996 are shown. The data exhibit strongly anticorrelated changes in O-2 and CO2 caused by local or regional combustion of fossil fuels. During periods of steady background CO2 concentrations, however, we see additional variability in O-2 concentrations, clearly not due to local combustion and presumably due to oceanic sources or sinks of O-2. This variability suggests that in contrast to CO2, higher O-2 sampling rates, such as those provided by continuous measurement programs, may be necessary to define an atmospheric O-2 background and thus aid in validating and interpreting other O-2 data from flask sampling programs. Our results have also demonstrated that this paramagnetic analyzer and gas handling design is well suited for making continuous measurements of atmospheric O-2 and is suitable for placement at remote background air monitoring sites.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: southern-hemisphere air,global carbon-cycle,o2 concentration,co2
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2015 12:40
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2020 00:07
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/53260
DOI: 10.1029/1999GB900054

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