Oceanic bromoform sources for the tropical atmosphere

B. Quack, E. Atlas, G. Petrick, V. Stroud, S. Schauffler, D. W.R. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Oceanic bromoform (CHBr3) is the major source of organic Br to the atmosphere and may be significant for ozone depletion through the contribution of reactive bromine to the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere of the midlatitudes and tropics. We report the first analyses of boundary layer air, surface and deep ocean waters from the tropical Atlantic. The data provide evidence of a source of CHBr3 throughout the tropical open ocean associated with the deep chlorophyll maximum within the tropical thermocline. Equatorial upwelling carries the CHBr3 to the surface, adding to increased concentrations in the equatorial mixed layer and driving oceanic emissions that support locally elevated atmospheric concentrations. In air masses that had crossed the coastal upwelling region off NW Africa even higher atmospheric mixing ratios were measured. The observations suggest a link between climate, wind-driven upwelling, and the supply of Br to the upper atmosphere of the tropics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 16 2004


  • 0312 Armospheric Composition and Structure: Air/sea constituent fluxes (3339, 4504)
  • 0315 Atmospheric Composition and Structure: Biosphere/atmosphere interactions
  • 0322 Atmospheric Composition and Structure: Constituent sources and sinks
  • 1635 Global Change: Oceans (4203)
  • 4820 Oceanography: Biological and Chemical: Gases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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