Global oceanic chlorofluorocarbon inventory

Debra A. Willey, Rana A. Fine, Rolf E. Sonnerup, John L. Bullister, William M. Smethie, Mark J. Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) dissolve in the oceans, but the total quantity and spatial distribution in the oceans was not previously known. The first estimate of the global oceanic CFC-11 uptake using field measurements is calculated from WOCE (World Ocean Circulation Experiment) CFC-11 concentrations. Here we find the total oceanic uptake of 5.5 (± 1.2) × 108 moles was about 1% of total emissions through 1994. Eighty-two percent of the CFC-11 inventory is in the upper 1000 meters. The CFC inventory distribution implies that the dominant physical air-sea exchange of gases on decadal time scales occurs due to a combination of high gas solubility in cold high latitude waters and effectiveness of the wind-driven circulation. The global inventory provides a benchmark for models simulating climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L01303 1-4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 16 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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