Gas Detection

Ultra-Sensitive Measurements of Methane and Carbon Dioxide Help Scientists Track Atmospheric Greenhouse Gas Concentrations

Oct 12 2007

Author: Aaron Van Pelt on behalf of Picarro Inc

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Human activity, primarily fossil fuel use, is adding roughly 3 ppm/yr of CO2 to the atmosphere and this increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations is driving global climate change. Terrestrial ecosystems act as both natural sources and sinks for atmospheric carbon, as shown in Figure 1, but the mechanisms by which carbon is absorbed from and released into the atmosphere are not well understood. Without the ability to determine the regional sources and sinks of CO2, it is difficult to predict future atmospheric carbon levels and to understand the effect of these elevated carbon levels on the global and regional climates.

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