Published estimates of removal of atmospheric methyl bromide (CH3Br) by agricultural soils are 2.7 Gg yr−1 (Gg = 109 g) [Shorter et al., 1995] and 65.8 Gg yr−1 [Serça et al., 1998]. The Serça et al. estimate, if correct, would suggest that the current value for total removal of atmospheric CH3Br by all sinks of 206 Gg yr−1 (based on Shorter et al., 1995) would be 30% too low. We have calculated a new rate of global agricultural soil uptake of atmospheric CH3Br from a larger sampling of cultivated soils collected from 40 sites located in the United States, Costa Rica, and Germany. First order reaction rates were measured during static laboratory incubations. These data were combined with uptake measurements we reported earlier based on field and laboratory experiments [Shorter et al. 1995]. Tropical (10.2°–10.4°N) and northern (45°–61°N) soils averaged lower reaction rate constants than temperate soils probably due to differing physical and chemical characteristics as well as microbial populations. Our revised global estimate for the uptake of ambient CH3Br by cultivated soils is 7.47±0.63 Gg yr−1, almost three times the value that we reported in 1995.


Earth Systems Research Center

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Geophysical Research Letters


American Geophysical Union (AGU)

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©1999. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


This is an article published by AGU in Geophysical Research Letters in 1999, available online: