Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a significant greenhouse gas and in the stratosphere contributes to the catalytic destruction of ozone. Concentrations have been increasing since the beginning of the industrial era, attributed to human excess input of nitrogen through intensive agriculture and runoff into oceans, yet understanding of the processes, sources, and sinks of this gas lags far behind that of other important trace gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and CFCs. The isotopes of N2O (most importantly 15N14N18O, 14N15N18O, 14N14N18O, 14N14N16O) can help elucidate the remaining uncertainties because the different source/sink processes preferentially use heavier or lighter isotopes and thus leave their mark on the atmospheric isotope composition. This PhD research is initiating instrumentation and measurement of N2O isotopes in the troposphere to utilize this extra information about N2O cycling. The dance follows the N2O cycle and demonstrates the fractionation of isotopes which will leave a signature in the tropospheric measurements. All three dancers are N2O molecules, starting on the ground in the soil which is the main source of N2O. N2O is emitted from the soil lightest isotope to heaviest, and the dancers "move on up" in this order. In the troposphere N2O acts as a greenhouse gas through the absorption of radiation in 3 vibrational modes. With one hand as a nitrogen atom, torso as central nitrogen, and the other hand as an oxygen atom, the dancers exhibit the three ...


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