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Chemistry International
Vol. 24, No. 1
January 2002


IUPAC Projects

Evaluated Kinetic Data for Atmospheric Chemistry

Evaluated data are essential not only for atmospheric modellers, but also for experimental scientists studying kinetics and mechanisms of atmospheric reactions. Over the last 20 years, and in response to the emerging problem of the depletion of atmospheric ozone due to man made pollutants, a group was tasked to produce evaluations of the existing chemical kinetics data. These evaluations continuously updated and augmented results in a series of nine peer reviewed publications in J. Phys. Chem. Ref. Data. As the accessibility of these data appears equally important, a new task group is now engaged in assembling, compiling, and indexing the materials on an interactive web site.

The published evaluations contain two elements. Firstly, they contain a summary table containing a list of recommended rate parameters giving the best available values for rate coefficients, for use in models representing atmospheric chemistry/explicitly as a system of elementary chemical reactions. Secondly each reaction is discussed in a separate data sheet, in which the key experimental data are summarized and the basis of the recommendation together with its uncertainty is given.

An initial database has been created by the former IUPAC Subcommittee for Gas Kinetic Data Evaluation for Atmospheric Chemistry and developed at the Centre for Atmospheric Science in the Department of Chemistry, at the University of Cambridge <>. The current task group, lead by Dr. R. A. Cox, will substantially expand the content of the web site to include not only the most current summary sheets, but also the data for photochemical reactions (absorption cross sections, quantum yields), heterogeneous reactions (kinetic uptake coefficients for atmospheric gases on a range of surfaces) and the individual data sheets for each of the (600) gas phase reactions evaluated in the past 20 years. The current "passive" site will be converted into an interactive interphase, including search and hyperlinks between the summary table and the data sheets. As new data are reported, a more effective way of updating and extending the portfolio of recommended rate coefficients will be developed; this will be necessary to maintain an effective and ongoing communication between laboratory scientists and atmospheric modellers.



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