Publication Details

Kremser, S., Jones, N. B., Palm, M., Lejeune, B., Wang, Y., Smale, D. & Deutscher, N. M. (2015). Positive trends in Southern Hemisphere carbonyl sulfide. Geophysical Research Letters, 42 (21), 9473-9480.


Transport of carbonyl sulfide (OCS) from the troposphere to the stratosphere contributes sulfur to the stratospheric aerosol layer, which reflects incoming short-wave solar radiation, cooling the climate system. Previous analyses of OCS observations have shown no significant trend, suggesting that OCS is unlikely to be a major contributor to the reported increases in stratospheric aerosol loading and indicating a balanced OCS budget. Here we present analyses of ground-based Fourier transform spectrometer measurements of OCS at three Southern Hemisphere sites spanning 34.45°S to 77.80°S. At all three sites statistically significant positive trends are seen from 2001 to 2014 with an observed overall trend in total column OCS at Wollongong of 0.73 ± 0.03%/yr, at Lauder of 0.43 ± 0.02%/yr, and at Arrival Heights of 0.45 ± 0.05%/yr. These observed trends in OCS imply that the OCS budget is not balanced and could contribute to constraints on current estimates of sources and sinks.

Grant Number

ARC/DP110101948, ARC/LE0668470