Metrology for high-impact greenhouse gases

Short Name: HIGHGAS, Project Number: ENV52
Air pollution
Greenhouse gas measurement: Measuring the critical gases for global monitoring of climate change

Global climate change poses one of the greatest risks to society worldwide. Increasing amounts of greenhouse gases are the driver behind the observed rise in global temperature. Thus, atmospheric measurements of greenhouse gases are pivotal to understanding the changes in the Earth’s climate and the influence of human activity. There is an urgent requirement for a validated and traceable measurement infrastructure to provide the basis for stable and comparable measurements of the highest impact greenhouse gases (i.e. carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (N2O) and methane (CH4). This will improve the data used to compile national greenhouse gas inventories and help demonstrate compliance with legislation or recommendations, such as the Kyoto protocol, European air quality directives, World Meteorological Organisation Data Quality Objectives (WMO DQO) and COP 21 (i.e. the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference). The project developed new accurate reference standards for CO2, CO, N2O, CH4 and fluorinated gases, which reflect the amount fractions typically found in the atmosphere. Methods for the production and storage of the new reference standards were also developed and compared to ensure the stability and quality of the reference standards.