Oxygen isotope fractionation in stratospheric CO2

M. H. Thiemens, T. Jackson, K. Mauersberger, B. Schueler, J. Morton

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A new cryogenic collection system has been flown on board a balloon gondola to obtain separate samples of ozone and carbon dioxide without entrapping major atmospheric gases. Precision laboratory isotopic analysis of CO2 samples collected between 26 and 35.5km show a mass‐independent enrichment in both 17O and 18O of about 11 per mil (‰) above tropospheric values. Ozone enrichment in its heavy isotopes was 9 to 16% in 50O3 and 8 to 11% in 49O3, respectively [Schueler et al., 1990]. A mechanism to explain the isotope enrichment in CO2 has been recently proposed by Yung et al. [1991]. Their model is based on the isotope exchange between CO2 and O3 via O(1D), resulting in a transfer of the ozone isotope enrichment to carbon dioxide. Predicted enrichments and measured values agree well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-672
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Thiemens, M. H., Jackson, T., Mauersberger, K., Schueler, B., & Morton, J. (1991). Oxygen isotope fractionation in stratospheric CO2 Geophysical Research Letters, 18(4), 669-672. https://doi.org/10.1029/91GL00121