Advances in reference materials and measurement techniques for greenhouse gas atmospheric observations



Publication Details

Brewer, P. J., Kim, J. Seog., Lee, S., Tarasova, O. A., Viallon, J., Flores, E., Wielgosz, R. I., Shimosaka, T., Assonov, S., Allison, C. E., van der Veen, A. M.H., Hall, B., Crotwell, A. M., Rhoderick, G. C., Hodges, J. T., Mohn, J., Zellweger, C., Moossen, H., Ebert, V. & Griffith, D. W.T. (2019). Advances in reference materials and measurement techniques for greenhouse gas atmospheric observations. Metrologia: international journal of pure and applied metrology, 56 (3), 034006-1-034006-29.


We present the global research landscape which aims to deliver a measurement infrastructure to underpin atmospheric observations of key greenhouse gases governing changes in the Earth's climate. These measurements present a significant challenge to the metrological community, analytical laboratories and major producers of reference materials. The review focuses on the progress made in the Gas Analysis Working Group of the Consultative Committee for Amount of Substance: Metrology in Chemistry and Biology (CCQM-GAWG) in establishing the primary realisation of the amount-of-substance fraction for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in an air matrix. It also focuses on the importance of providing traceable measurements of isotopic composition of these components for commutability of reference materials and for isotope ratio measurements for greenhouse gas source attribution. The review examines the developments in the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Programme of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) for providing the framework for the development and implementation of integrated greenhouse gas observations, which is vital for understanding the global carbon cycle and the role greenhouse gases play in climate change. The developments in analytical techniques are also discussed which have shaped the direction of the metrology required to meet the evolving and future needs of stakeholders.

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