Letter | Published:

Measurements of CHFCl2 in background tropospheric air

Naturevolume 286pages793795 (1980) | Download Citation



The likely impact of fluorocarbons on the Earth's ozone layer has recently been reviewed in two major reports1,2 which, although showing difference of emphasis, both concluded that uncontrolled emissions of F11 (CFCl3) and F12 (CF2Cl2) would lead to a substantial reduction in the level of ozone in the Earth's ozone shield (13–16%). The effect of F11 and F12 on ozone would be considerably reduced if they were removed on a large scale by some mechanism which operated in the troposphere. Such a mechanism has been proposed for F11, which involves conversion to F21 (CHFCl2) on the surface of aerosols suspended in the atmosphere3. Crescentini and Bruner4 have recently reported measurements of the F21 concentration that were of sufficient magnitude to suggest that tropospheric removal of F11 was occurring on a scale greater than stratospheric removal. We report here data which refute this suggestion by showing that the level of F21 in the clean background troposphere is virtually unmeasurable.

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Author information


  1. Environmental and Medical Sciences Division, AERE Harwell, Oxon, OX11 0RA, UK

    • S. A. Penkett
    •  & N. J. D. Prosser
  2. Oregon Graduate Center, Beaverton, Oregon

    • R. A. Rasmussen
    •  & M. A. K. Khalil


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