On the diurnal, weekly, and seasonal cycles and annual trends in atmospheric CO2 at Mount Zugspitze, Germany, during 1981–2016
A continuous, 36-year measurement composite of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) at three measurement locations on Mount Zugspitze, Germany, was studied. For a comprehensive site characterization of Mount Zugspitze, analyses of CO2 weekly periodicity and diurnal cycle were performed to provide evidence for local sources and sinks, showing clear weekday to weekend differences, with dominantly higher CO2 levels during the daytime on weekdays. A case study of atmospheric trace gases (CO and NO) and the passenger numbers to the summit indicate that CO2 sources close by did not result from tourist activities but instead obviously from anthropogenic pollution in the near vicinity. Such analysis of local effects is an indispensable requirement for selecting representative data at orographic complex measurement sites. The CO2 trend and seasonality were then analyzed by background data selection and decomposition of the long-term time series into trend and seasonal components. The mean CO2 annual growth rate over the 36-year period at Zugspitze is 1.8±0.4 ppm yr−1, which is in good agreement with Mauna Loa station and global means. The peak-to-trough amplitude of the mean CO2 seasonal cycle is 12.4±0.6 ppm at Mount Zugspitze (after data selection: 10.5±0.5 ppm), which is much lower than at nearby measurement sites at Mount Wank (15.9±1.5 ppm) and Schauinsland (15.9±1.0 ppm), but following a similar seasonal pattern.