[en] Fourier transform infrared spectrometry has been used to retrieve the total column abundances of SF6 at three locations in the northern hemisphere, i.e., the Ny- Angstromlesund site in Spitsbergen/Norway at 79degreesN, the Jungfraujoch observatory in Switzerland at 47degreesN and the Kitt Peak observatory in Arizona, USA, at 32degreesN. The total column results have been converted to average tropospheric mixing ratios. The mean increases in these mixing ratios have been found to be, equal to 0.31 +/- 0.08 pptv yr(-1) at Ny Angstromlesund, 0.24 +/- 0.01 pptv yr(-1) at the Jungfraujoch and 0.28 +/- 0.09 pptv yr(-1) at Kitt Peak for the common period March 1993 to March 2002, in agreement with corresponding CMDL data (0.21 +/- 0.0002 pptv yr(-1)) at the surface. The limited accuracy of the Ny Angstromlesund and Kitt Peak data results from strong tropospheric water vapour interferences at these lower altitude sites. Observations at all three locations show that SF6 is Still accumulating in the atmosphere. Extrapolations of linear and second-order fits to the Jungfraujoch data predict tropospheric mixing ratios of SF6, respectively equal to 16.4 +/- 0.5 and. 14.7 +/- 0.6 in 2050, and 28.2 +/- 0.9 and 22.2 +/- 10.8 pptv in 2100, significantly, lower than those reported in the literature so far. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All, rights reserved.