El Niño Driven Fires Affect the Natural Emission of an Ozone Depleting Trace Gas


Methyl bromide is an important ozone depleting trace gas that is currently emitted primarily from natural sources.

Most of the anthropogenic production of methyl bromide was phased out in response to Montreal Protocol on Substance that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1999 and its atmospheric concentration has significantly declined since. However, the cause of a substantial temporary variation observed in the atmospheric concentration of methyl bromide remains elusive.

A new study funded in part by CPO’s Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle, & Climate (AC4) program and published in the journal of Geophysical Research Letters investigated the causes leading to the interannual variability of methyl bromide.

Researchers from NOAA’s Global Monitoring Lab and University of California, Irvine used surface measurements of methyl bromide from NOAA’s global air sampling network along with a multi-box atmospheric and ocean model to investigate how changing emissions from different sources affect the atmospheric mole fraction of methyl bromide over different regions.

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Image via NOAA Climate Program Office