Global distributions of carbonyl sulfide in the upper troposphere and stratosphere

Michael P. Barkley, Paul I. Palmer, Chris D. Boone, Peter F. Bernath, Parvadha Suntharalingam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present the first upper tropospheric and stratospheric global distributions of carbonyl sulfide (OCS) observed from space using solar occultation measurements made by the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment ( ACE) satellite Fourier transform spectrometer during 2004-2006. We observe high OCS mixing ratios (> 400 pptv) within the tropical stratosphere owing to convected tropospheric air. Stratospheric mixing ratios decrease more rapidly with altitude moving away from the Equator, creating a poleward gradient. Elevated OCS concentrations observed at low southern latitudes are consistent with a significant pyrogenic source. Using coincident ACE measurements of CFC-11 and CFC-12 we determine a global OCS stratospheric lifetime of 64 +/- 21 years corresponding to a stratospheric sink of 63-124 Gg OCS yr(-1).

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL14810
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2008


  • MASS
  • COS

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