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Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations Derived from Flask Samples Collected at U.S.S.R.-Operated Sampling Sites (1991)


data Data   PDF PDF File


A. M. Brounshtein, E. V. Faber, and A. A. Shashkov

DOI: 10.3334/CDIAC/atg.ndp033


This NDP represents the first CDIAC data package to result from our involvement with Soviet scientists as part of Working Group (WG) VIII of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Joint Committee on Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Protection. The U.S.-U.S.S.R. Agreement on Protection of the Environment, established in 1972, covers a wide variety of areas, including environmental pollution, the urban environment, nature preserves, arctic and subarctic ecological systems, earthquake prediction, and institutional measures for environmental protection. WG VIII is concerned with the influence of environmental changes on climate. CDIAC's activities have been conducted under the auspices of WG VIII's "Data Exchange Management" project. (The four other WG VIII projects deal with climate change, atmospheric composition, clouds and radiation fluxes, and stratospheric ozone.) In addition to the Main Geophysical Observatory, other Soviet institutions that have been cooperating with CDIAC in the exchange of CO2 and climate-related data include the All-Union Research Institute of Hydrometeorological Information (Obninsk) and the State Hydrological Institute (St. Petersburg).

NDP-033 presents daily atmospheric CO2 concentrations from four U.S.S.R.-operated sampling sites [Teriberka Station (69°12´: N, 35°06´ E), Ocean Station Charlie (52°45´ N, 35°30´ W), Bering Island (55°12´ N, 165°59´ E), and Kotelny Island (76°06´ N, 137°54´ E)]. The period of record varies by station, with the earliest measurements dating back to 1983 and recent estimates from early 1991. These CO2 concentrations are derived from air samples collected in 1.5-L stainless steel electropolished flasks and later analyzed at the Main Geophysical Observatory (St. Petersburg, U.S.S.R.) with a nondispersive infrared gas analyzer. Measurements not meeting wind direction, wind speed, interflask agreement, and climate-condition criteria were either discarded or flagged. All measurements have been corrected for drift biases introduced during flask storage.

These atmospheric CO2 concentrations are considered indicative of regional background air conditions and are directly traceable to the World Meteorological Organization's primary CO2 standards. These measurements support the rising trend in atmospheric CO2 concentrations measured at other monitoring sites around the world and may be compared with similar measurements made by various monitoring programs at other northern-latitude sites.

Annual mean atmospheric CO2 concentrations, calculated from available individual flask measurements for the four sites, have increased from 352.38 parts per million by volume (ppmv) in 1988 to 354.97 ppmv in 1990 for Teriberka Station, 343.52 ppmv in 1983 to 355.68 ppmv in 1990 for Ocean Station Charlie, 345.19 ppmv in 1986 to 354.93 ppmv in 1990 for Bering Island, and 351.96 ppmv in 1987 to 356.05 ppmv in 1990 for Kotelny Island. The atmospheric CO2 measurements from each site show a pronounced annual seasonal oscillation caused by photosynthetic depletion during the northern growing season. The amplitudes of these seasonal oscillations are quite large (10 to 30 ppmv) and are consistent with measurement records from other northern-latitude locations.

The NDP consists of a written document and data contained in seven files: four data files (one for each station) that provide the atmospheric CO2 concentrations from individual flask measurements, a descriptive file, and FORTRAN and SAS computer codes to access the data files. The written document presents the atmospheric CO2 concentrations in graphic and tabular form, describes the sampling methods, defines limitations and restrictions of the data, and describes the information on the magnetic media. The data files range in size from 0.97 to 20.01 kB. These data are also available on CD-ROM or via FTP.