Evaluating oceanic uptake of atmospheric CCl4: A combined analysis of model simulations and observations

P. Suntharalingam, E. Buitenhuis, L. J. Carpenter, J. H. Butler, M. J. Messias, S. J. Andrews, S. C. Hackenberg

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We provide new estimates of the air‐sea flux of CCl4 using simulations from a global ocean biogeochemistry model (NEMO‐PlankTOM) in combination with depth‐resolved CCl4 observations from global oceanic databases. Estimates of global oceanic CCl4 uptake are derived from a range of model analyses, including prescribed parameterizations using reported values on hydrolysis and degradation, and analyses optimized using the global observational databases. We evaluate the sensitivity of our results to uncertainties in air‐sea gas exchange parameterization, estimation period, and circulation processes. Our best constrained estimate of ocean CCl4 uptake for the period 1996–2000 is 20.1 Gg/year (range 16.6–22.7), corresponding to estimates of the partial atmospheric lifetime with respect to ocean uptake of 124 (110–150) years. This new oceanic lifetime implies higher emissions of CCl4 than currently estimated and therefore a larger missing atmospheric source of CCl4.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-482
Number of pages11
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number1
Early online date30 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2019


  • air-sea fluxes
  • carbon tetrachloride
  • halocarbon
  • ozone-depleting substance

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