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Published May 20, 1997 | Published
Journal Article Open

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: Isotopic exchange with ozone and its use as a tracer in the middle atmosphere


Atmospheric heavy ozone is enriched in the isotopes ^(18)O and ^(17)O. The magnitude of this enhancement, of the order of 100‰, is very large compared with that commonly known in atmospheric chemistry and geochemistry. The heavy oxygen atom in heavy ozone is therefore useful as a tracer of chemical species and pathways that involve ozone or its derived products. As a test of the isotopic exchange reactions, we successfully carry out a series of numerical experiments to simulate the results of the laboratory experiments performed by Wen and Thiemens [1993] on ozone and CO_2. A small discrepancy between the experimental and the model values for ^(17)O exchange is also revealed. The results are used to compute the magnitude of isotopic exchange between ozone and carbon dioxide via the excited atom O(^1D) in the middle atmosphere. The model for ^(18)O is in good agreement with the observed values.

Additional Information

© 1997 by the American Geophysical Union. Received September 27, 1996; revised January 23, 1997; accepted February 13, 1997. We thank M. Allen, K. Boering, S. Cliff, H. Craig, J. Kaye, K. Mauersberger, E. Moyer, and M. Thiemens for helpful discussions and Y. Jiang for assistance with the manuscript. This research is partly supported by NASA grant NAGW-413 to the California Institute of Technology and by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory under contract to NASA; Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences of the California Institute of Technology contribution 5750.

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