A weekly cycle in atmospheric carbon dioxide

Randall Cerveny, Kevin J. Coakley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


We present a new statistic called the "Mean Symmetrized Residual" (MSR) for detection and quantification of a weekly cycle in measured daily atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). At the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, we conclude that CO2 concentrations, on average, are significantly lower (0.022 parts per million by volume, ppmv) on weekends (Saturday-Sunday) than during the rest of the week. Over the past twenty-five years, the variation of the mean values of MSR (as a function of day of the week) has been relatively stable. We speculate that the observed weekday/weekend variation in CO2 at Mauna Loa is the result of anthropogenic emissions on Hawaii and nearby sources. We do not detect a weekly cycle in daily CO2 concentration measured at South Pole, Antarctica. This methodology has applicability to a variety of datasets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-1-15-4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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