Chlorine Isotope Fractionation in the Stratosphere

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Science  03 Sep 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5996, pp. 1167
DOI: 10.1126/science.1191809

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Chlorinated organic compounds are important contributors to the anthropogenic enhancement of stratospheric ozone depletion. We report measurements of stratospheric isotope fractionation in such a compound. Stratospheric and tropospheric difluorodichloromethane (CF2Cl2) were found to have the largest relative 37Cl/35Cl isotope ratio difference ever measured for a natural compound. The increase of the relative isotope ratio difference with altitude was tightly correlated to the corresponding decrease in the CF2Cl2 mixing ratio. The observed relationship has a high potential to provide new insights into atmospheric chemistry and transport processes.

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