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Initial Results of an Intercomparison of AMS-Based Atmospheric 14CO2 Measurements

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 February 2016

John Miller*
Affiliation:
NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, USA CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Scott Lehman
Affiliation:
INSTAAR, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Chad Wolak
Affiliation:
INSTAAR, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Jocelyn Turnbull
Affiliation:
INSTAAR, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA Present address: GNS Science, Lower Hurt, New Zealand
Gregory Dunn
Affiliation:
INSTAAR, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA Present address: Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Heather Graven
Affiliation:
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, California, USA
Ralph Keeling
Affiliation:
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, California, USA
Harro A J Meijer
Affiliation:
Centre for Isotope Research, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
Anita Th Aerts-Bijma
Affiliation:
Centre for Isotope Research, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
Sanne W L Palstra
Affiliation:
Centre for Isotope Research, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
Andrew M Smith
Affiliation:
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Lucas Heights, Australia
Colin Allison
Affiliation:
CSIRO, Marine and Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, Australia
John Southon
Affiliation:
University of California, Irvine, California, USA
Xiaomei Xu
Affiliation:
University of California, Irvine, California, USA
Takakiyo Nakazawa
Affiliation:
Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
Shuji Aoki
Affiliation:
Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
Toshio Nakamura
Affiliation:
Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
Thomas Guilderson
Affiliation:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California, USA
Brian LaFranchi
Affiliation:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California, USA
Hitoshi Mukai
Affiliation:
National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
Yukio Terao
Affiliation:
National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
Masao Uchida
Affiliation:
National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
Miyuki Kondo
Affiliation:
National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
*
Corresponding author. Email: john.b.miller@noaa.gov.

Abstract

This article presents results from the first 3 rounds of an international intercomparison of measurements of Δ14CO2 in liter-scale samples of whole air by groups using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). The ultimate goal of the intercomparison is to allow the merging of Δ14CO2 data from different groups, with the confidence that differences in the data are geophysical gradients and not artifacts of calibration. Eight groups have participated in at least 1 round of the intercomparison, which has so far included 3 rounds of air distribution between 2007 and 2010. The comparison is intended to be ongoing, so that: a) the community obtains a regular assessment of differences between laboratories; and b) individual laboratories can begin to assess the long-term repeatability of their measurements of the same source air. Air used in the intercomparison was compressed into 2 high-pressure cylinders in 2005 and 2006 at Niwot Ridge, Colorado (USA), with one of the tanks “spiked” with fossil CO2, so that the 2 tanks span the range of Δ14CO2 typically encountered when measuring air from both remote background locations and polluted urban ones. Three groups show interlaboratory comparability within l% for ambient level Δ14CO2. For high CO2/low Δ14CO2 air, 4 laboratories showed comparability within 2%. This approaches the goals set out by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) CO2 Measurements Experts Group in 2005. One important observation is that single-sample precisions typically reported by the AMS community cannot always explain the observed differences within and between laboratories. This emphasizes the need to use long-term repeatability as a metric for measurement precision, especially in the context of long-term atmospheric monitoring.

Type
Atmospheric Carbon Cycle
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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