An extensive set of carbonyl sulfide (OCS) observations were made as part of the NASA Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment-North America (INTEX-NA) study, flown from 1 July to 14 August 2004 mostly over the eastern United States and Canada. These data show that summertime OCS mixing ratios at low altitude were dominated by surface drawdown and were highly correlated with CO2. Although local plumes were observed on some low-altitude flight legs, anthropogenic OCS sources were small compared to this sink. These INTEX-NA observations were in marked contrast to the early springtime 2001 Transport and Chemical Evolution over the Pacific experiment, which sampled Asian outflow dominated by anthropogenic OCS emissions. To test the gridded OCS fluxes used in past models, the INTEX-NA observations were combined with the sulfur transport Eulerian model (STEM) regional atmospheric chemistry model for a top-down assessment of bottom-up OCS surface fluxes for North America. Initial STEM results suggest that the modeled fluxes underestimate the OCS plant sink by more than 200%.
Blake, NJ, JE Campbell, SA Vay, HE Fuelberg, LG Huey, G Sachse, S Meinardi, et al. 2008. “Carbonyl Sulfide (OCS): Large-Scale Distributions over North America during INTEX-NA and Relationship to CO2.”