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Original Research Papers

Temporal variations of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the southernmost part of Japan

Authors:

Xia Zhang ,

Center for Atmospheric and Oceanic Studies, Tohoku University, JP
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Takakiyo Nakazawa,

Center for Atmospheric and Oceanic Studies, Tohoku University, JP
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Misa Ishizawa,

Air Quality Research Division, Environment Canada, CA
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Shuji Aoki,

Center for Atmospheric and Oceanic Studies, Tohoku University, JP
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Shin-Ichiro Nakaoka,

Center for Atmospheric and Oceanic Studies, Tohoku University, JP
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Satoshi Sugawara,

Miyagi University of Education, JP
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Shamil Maksyutov,

National Institute for Environmental Studies, JP
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Tazu Saeki,

Research Institute for Human and Nature, JP
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Tadahiro Hayasaka

Research Institute for Human and Nature, JP
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Abstract

We present analysis of the temporal variation of atmospheric CO2 in the subtropical region of East Asia, obtained aboard a ferry between Ishigaki Island and Hateruma Island, Japan for the period June 1993–April 2005. The annual mean CO2 concentration increases from 360.1 ppmv in 1994 to 378.4 ppmv in 2004, showing an average growth rate of 1.8 ppmv yr-1. The growth rate shows interannual variations with high values duringENSOevents. The average seasonal CO2 cycle reaches the maximum in early April and the minimum in mid-September, with a peak-to-peak amplitude of 8.5 ppmv. Numerical simulations using a three-dimensional atmospheric transport model show interannual variations of the CO2 growth rate similar to the observation, but the amplitude of the seasonal cycle is larger, with maximum concentration appearing earlier than the observation by 1 month. Low CO2 values observed during the spring of 1998 are likely associated with the 1997/1998 ENSO event. A backward trajectory analysis suggests that they were due to changes in atmospheric transport whereby maritime air masses from the Pacific Ocean dominated over polluted air masses from the Asian Continent. Extreme values (either high or low) of CO2 are also occasionally observed. A comparison of backward trajectories of air parcels with CO2 concentration fields calculated using the atmospheric transport model shows that these unusual CO2 concentrations result from the transport of air affected not only by anthropogenic CO2 emissions but also by terrestrial biospheric activities mainly in China.

How to Cite: Zhang, X., Nakazawa, T., Ishizawa, M., Aoki, S., Nakaoka, S.-I., Sugawara, S., Maksyutov, S., Saeki, T. and Hayasaka, T., 2007. Temporal variations of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the southernmost part of Japan. Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 59(4), pp.654–663. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0889.2007.00288.x
  Published on 01 Jan 2007
 Accepted on 17 Apr 2007            Submitted on 3 Oct 2006

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