12 years of continuous atmospheric O2, CO2 and APO data from Weybourne Atmospheric Observatory in the United Kingdom

Karina Adcock, Penelope Pickers, Andrew Manning, Grant Forster, Leigh Fleming, Thomas Barningham, Philip Wilson, Elena Kozlova, Marica Hewitt, Alex Etchells, Andy Macdonald

Research output: Working paperPreprint


We present analyses of a 12-year time series of continuous atmospheric measurements of O2 and CO2 at the Weybourne Atmospheric Observatory in the United Kingdom. These measurements are combined into the term Atmospheric Potential Oxygen (APO), a tracer that is conservative with respect to terrestrial biosphere processes. The CO2, O2 and APO datasets discussed are hourly averages between May 2010 and December 2021. We include details of our measurement system and calibration procedures, and describe the main long-term and seasonal features of the time series. The 2-minute repeatability of the measurement system is approximately ±3 per meg for O2 and approximately ±0.005 ppm for CO2. The time series shows average long-term trends of 2.40 ppm yr-1 (2.38 to 2.42) for CO2, -24.0 per meg yr-1 for O2 (-24.3 to -23.8) and -11.4 per meg yr-1 (-11.7 to -11.3) for APO, over the 12-year period. The average seasonal cycle peak-to-peak amplitudes are 16 ppm for CO2, 134 per meg for O2, and 68 per meg for APO. The diurnal cycles of CO2 and O2 vary considerably between seasons. The datasets are publicly available at https://doi.org/10.18160/Z0GF-MCWH (Adcock et al., 2023) and have many current and potential scientific applications in constraining carbon cycle processes, such as investigating air-sea exchange of CO2 and O2, and top-down quantification of fossil fuel CO2.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCopernicus Publications
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2023

Publication series

NameEarth System Science Data Discussions
ISSN (Print)1866-3591

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