P. F. Bernath, et al.
A Near-Global Atmospheric Distribution of N2O Isotopologues
Geophysical Research Letters (2017GL075122), 44(20), 10,735-10,743, 2017; doi: 10.1002/2017GL075122
N2O isotopologues isotopic fractionation


The distributions of the four most abundant isotopologues and isotopomers (N2O, 15NNO, N15NO, and NN18O) of nitrous oxide have been measured in the Earth’s stratosphere by infrared remote sensing with the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) Fourier transform spectrometer. These satellite observations have provided a near-global picture of N2O isotopic fractionation. The relative abundances of the heavier species increase with altitude and with latitude in the stratosphere as the air becomes older. The heavy isotopologues are enriched by 20–30% in the upper stratosphere and even more over the poles. These observations are in general agreement with model predictions made with the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM). A detailed 3-D chemical transport model is needed to account for the global isotopic distributions of N2O and to infer sources and sinks.


  author = "P. F. Bernath and M. Yousefi and E. Buzan and C. D. Boone",
  title = "A Near-Global Atmospheric Distribution of N2O Isotopologues",
  year = 2017,
  journal = "Geophysical Research Letters",
  volume = 44,
  number = 20,
  pages = "10,735-10,743",
  month = "Oct",
  keywords = "N2O, isotopologues, isotopic fractionation",
  doi = "10.1002/2017GL075122",
  url = "",
  note = "2017GL075122"
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