NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Modeling of Isotope Fractionation in Stratospheric CO2, N2O, CH4, and O3: Investigations of Stratospheric Chemistry and Transport, Stratosphere-Troposphere Exchange, and Their Influence on Global Isotope BudgetsWe investigated the isotopic fractionation of CH4 and hydrogen (H2) in the stratosphere by incorporating isotope-specific rate coefficients into the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) 2D model and comparing the model results with new observations from the NASA ER-2 aircraft (funded through a separate task under the Upper Atmosphere Research Program). The model results reveal that fractionation which occurs in the stratosphere has a significant influence on isotope compositions in the free troposphere, an important point which had previously been ignored, unrecognized or unquantified for many long-lived trace gases, including CH4 and H2 which we have focused our efforts on to date. Our analyses of the model results and new isotope observations have also been used to test how well the kinetic isotope effects are known, at least to within the uncertainties in model chemistry and transport. Overall, these results represent an important step forward in our understanding of isotope fractionation in the atmosphere and demonstrate that stratospheric isotope fractionation cannot be ignored in modeling studies which use isotope observations in the troposphere to infer the global budgets of CH4 (an important greenhouse gas) and of H2 (a gas whose atmospheric budget must be better quantified, particularly before a large human perturbation from fuel cell use is realized). Our analyses of model results and observations from the NASA ER-2 aircraft are briefly summarized separately below for CH4, H2, and H2O and for the contribution of these modeling studies to date to our understanding of isotope fractionation for N2O, CO2, and O3 as well.
Document ID
Document Type
Boering, Kristie A.
(California Univ. Berkeley, CA, United States)
Connell, Peter
(Lawrence Livermore National Lab. Livermore, CA, United States)
Rotman, Douglas
(Lawrence Livermore National Lab. Livermore, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Subject Category
Meteorology And Climatology
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Document Inquiry

Available Downloads

There are no available downloads for this record.
No Preview Available