Following the conclusion of the EU-funded INGOS project, formed of research institutions from fourteen participating countries, scientists have been able to enhance Europe’s observational capacity to record non-carbon dioxide (CO2) greenhouse gas emissions.
Whilst there are now well-established methods for recording industrial CO2 emissions, it had proven much more difficult to effectively measure the emissions contributions of other potentially harmful gases, such as nitrous oxide and methane.
Previously, only educated calculations on the exact quantity of emissions of these gases could be made, due to the fact that they originate from many different sources, from waste landfill sites to food production.
To address this challenge, the INGOS project implemented a network of atmospheric observation stations across Europe as a means to specifically collect and combine measurements for these gases and cross-reference them with other data.
The infrastructure project works on standardising the measurements, strengthening the existing observation sites into supersites, allowing for capacity building in new EU Member States, and preparing for integration with other networks already in place or currently being set-up (such as ICOS, the carbon equivalent of INGOS).
This sophisticated observation system, which generates data to allow for the detection of emission source ‘hotspots’, allows for a much more comprehensive understanding of how these gases influence the ecosystem and contribute to overall greenhouse gas emissions.
The observation stations were also redesigned to detect new potential greenhouse gases, even if they are emitted in very small concentrations. INGOS has already been able to identify several new gases that were previously unknown, or newly introduced to the market (as a means to replace conventional industrial gases). This is due to the sensitivity of the observation network being able to pick-up very small concentrations of emissions.
More information:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *