J. J. Harrison, et al.
ACE-FTS observations of acetonitrile in the lower stratosphere
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 13(15), 7405-7413, 2013; doi: 10.5194/acp-13-7405-2013


This work reports the first infrared satellite remote-sensing measurements of acetonitrile (CH3CN) in the Earth's atmosphere using solar occultation measurements made by the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier transform spectrometer (ACE-FTS) between 2004 and 2011. The retrieval scheme uses new quantitative laboratory spectroscopic measurements of acetonitrile (Harrison and Bernath, 2012). Although individual ACE-FTS profile measurements are dominated by measurement noise, median profiles in 10° latitude bins show a steady decline in volume mixing ratio from ~150 ppt (parts per trillion) at 11.5 km to < 40 ppt at 25.5–29.5 km. These new measurements agree well with the scant available air- and balloon-borne data in the lower stratosphere. An acetonitrile stratospheric lifetime of 73 ± 20 yr has been determined.


  author = "J. J. Harrison and P. F. Bernath",
  title = "ACE-FTS observations of acetonitrile in the lower stratosphere",
  year = 2013,
  journal = "Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics",
  volume = 13,
  number = 15,
  pages = "7405-7413",
  month = "Aug",
  doi = "10.5194/acp-13-7405-2013",
  url = ""
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