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Trace gases (excluding ozone)


Trace gases other than ozone may be divided into three categories: greenhouse gases affecting climate change; chemically aggressive gases affecting the environment (including the biosphere); and, gases and radicals impacting on the ozone cycle, thereby affecting both climate and environment. Measurements include the concentration of trace gasses, column totals and integrated column measurements, and profiles of gas concentration.
Detailed MeasurementDescription*InstrumentsTimeline
Atmospheric Chemistry - BrO (column/profile)BrO = Bromine monoxide. Requested from surface to TOA (layers: LT, HT, LS, HS&M) - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].7 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - C2H2 (column/profile)C2H2 = Acetylene. Requested in the troposphere (layers: LT, HT) - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].1 instrument
Atmospheric Chemistry - C2H6 (column/profile)C2H6 = Ethane. Requested in the troposphere (layers: LT, HT) - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].1 instrument
Atmospheric Chemistry - CFC-11 (column/profile)CFC-11 = Trichlorofluoromethane = Freon-11. Requested from surface to TOA (layers: LT, HT, LS, HS&M) - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].2 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - CFC-12 (column/profile)CFC-12 = Dichlorodifluoromethane = Freon-12. Requested from surface to TOA (layers: LT, HT, LS, HS&M) - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].2 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - CH2O (column/profile)CH2O = HCHO = Formaldehyde. Requested in the troposphere (layers: LT, HT) + Total column - Physical unit: [ ppm ] for profile, units of [1.3×1015 molecules/cm2 ] for total column - Accuracy unit: [ % ] for profile, [1.3×1015 cm-2 ] for total column.8 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - CH3Br (column/profile)CH3BR = Methyl Bromide. Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].0 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - CH4 (column/profile)CH4 = Methane. Requested from surface to TOA (layers: LT, HT, LS, HS&M) + Total column - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].17 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - CHOCHO (column/profile)CHOCHO = Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].4 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - ClO (column/profile)ClO = Chlorine monoxide = Hypochlorite. Requested from surface to TOA (layers: LT, HT, LS, HS&M) - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].3 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - ClONO2 (column/profile)ClONO2 = Chlorine nitrate. Requested from mid-troposphere to TOA (layers: HT, LS, HS&M) - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].2 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - CO (column/profile)CO = Carbon monoxide. Requested from surface to low stratosphere (layers: LT, HT, LS) + Total column - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].18 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - CO2 (column/profile)CO2 = Carbon dioxide. Requested from surface to TOA (layers: LT, HT, LS, HS&M) + Total column - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].17 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - COS (column/profile)COS = Carbonyl sulfide. Requested from surface to low stratosphere (layers: LT, HT, LS) - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].0 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - HCFC-22 (column/profile)HCFC-22 = Chlorodifluoromethane or difluoromonochloromethane . Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].1 instrument
Atmospheric Chemistry - HCl (column/profile)HCl = Hydrogen chloride. Requested from mid-troposphere to TOA (layers: HT, LS, HS&M) - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].2 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - HDO (column/profile)HDO = Water vapour (with one hydrogen nucleus replaced by its deuterium isotope). Requested from low stratosphere to TOA (layers: LS and HS&M) - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].3 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - HNO3 (column/profile)HNO3 = Nitric acid. Requested from surface to TOA (layers: LT, HT, LS, HS&M) + Total column - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].7 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - N2O (column/profile)N2O = Nitrous oxide. Requested from surface to TOA (layers: LT, HT, LS, HS&M) - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].8 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - N2O5 (column/profile)N2O5 = Nitrogen pentoxide. Requested in the troposphere (layers: LT, HT) - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].2 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - NO (column/profile)NO = Nitric oxide. Requested from surface to TOA (layers: LT, HT, LS, HS&M) - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].2 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - NO2 (column/profile)NO2 = Nitrogen peroxide. Requested from surface to TOA (layers: LT, HT, LS, HS&M) + Total column - Physical unit: [ ppm ] for profile, units of [1.3×1015 molecules/cm2 ] for total column - Accuracy unit: [ % ] for profile, [1.3×1015 cm-2 ] for total column.16 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - OClO (column/profile)OClO = chlorate. Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].1 instrument
Atmospheric Chemistry - OH (column/profile)OH = Hydroxil radical. Requested from surface to TOA (layers: LT, HT, LS, HS&M) - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].1 instrument
Atmospheric Chemistry - PAN (column/profile)PAN = Peroxy Acetyl Nitrate. Requested in the troposphere (layers: LT, HT) - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].1 instrument
Atmospheric Chemistry - PSC (column/profile)PSC = Polar Stratospheric Clouds. Requested in the lower stratosphere (layer: LS) - Accuracy expressed as Hit Rate [ HR ] and False Alarm Rate [ FAR ].0 instruments
Atmospheric Chemistry - SF6 (column/profile)SF6 = Sulfur exafluoride. Requested from low stratosphere to TOA (layers: LS and HS&M) - Physical unit: [ ppm ] - Accuracy unit: [ % ].1 instrument
Atmospheric Chemistry - SO2 (column/profile)SO2 = Sulfur dioxide. Requested from surface to lower stratosphere (layers: LT, HT, LS) + Total column - Physical unit: [ ppm ] for profile, units of [1.3×1015 cm-2 ] for total column - Accuracy unit: [ % ] for profile, [1.3×1015 cm-2 ] for total column.9 instruments
* Description adapted from WMO.
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