Metrology for stable isotope reference standards

Short Name: SIRS, Project Number: 16ENV06
Image showing a nuclear power station at the river Weser in Germany
Nuclear power station at River Weser Germany

New capabilities to identify source of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide will improve emissions monitoring

Immediate action is required to prevent irreversible changes to the Earth’s climate due to greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers need to be able to discriminate man-made from natural emissions in the atmosphere, to provide governments with accurate emissions inventory data and verify progress towards emissions reduction targets. However, this cannot be achieved with the existing measurement infrastructure.


This project has developed a new infrastructure including methods and instrumentation to underpin measurements of stable isotopes of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, two major greenhouse gases, which enable their origin to be identified. This will be instrumental in providing more accurate, comparable data to separate various man-made sources of greenhouse gas emissions from each other, as well as from natural sources. This will enable governments to develop accurate emissions inventories and models to comply with legislation, and inform new policy and better abatement strategies to help prevent dangerous climate change.


EMPIR project 19ENV05 STELLAR builds on this work.

Project website
Other Participants
Al Air Liquide España, S.A. (Spain)
Eidgenoessische Materialpruefungs- und Forschungsanstalt (Switzerland)
Institut Jožef Stefan (Slovenia)
Itä-Suomen yliopisto (Finland)
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der Wissenschaften e.V. (Germany)
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (Netherlands)