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NIST Seeks to Measure Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through Atmospheric Observation-Based Methods

green earth, environmentThe National Institute of Standards and Technology has started to develop tools and methods designed to measure greenhouse gas emissions based on atmospheric observations.

James Whetstone, special assistant to the NIST director for greenhouse gas and climate science measurements, wrote in a blog published Thursday that NIST has set up three urban test beds to measure GHG emissions.

These urban test beds are the Northeast Corridor Project, Los Angeles Megacity Carbon Project and the Indianapolis Flux Experiment.

The agency will use these test beds to carry out research projects to facilitate air sampling activities onboard aircraft as well as on buildings and towers and merge the data collected through aerial sampling with atmospheric models in an effort to help scientists predict the flow of GHG emissions that pass through the atmosphere and determine specific sources of those emissions.

“In the future, satellite observations will play a larger role in measuring GHG emissions,” Whetstone wrote.

“As that happens, urban measurements will provide ground-truthing data for calibrating satellite measurements.”

NIST collaborates with earth systems and atmospheric research laboratories within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s office of oceanic and atmospheric research as part of the Greenhouse Gas and Climate Science Measurements Program.

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