What does this program measure?
CSIRO measures the following greenhouse gases (units of measurement are micromol per mol of dry air for Carbon Dioxide, and nanomol per mol of dry air for the others. The isotope ratios are measured per mil):
How does this program work?
The trace gas mixing ratios are measured by the technique of gas chromatography; isotope ratios are measured with a stable isotope ratio mass spectrometer.
Why is this research important?
These trace species are being measured to better understand the processes underlying the long-term changes in the atmospheric abundances of these radiatively (and hence climatically) and chemically active trace species.
Are there any trends in the data?
Yes, there are trends in all species. The major greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O) are all increasing in abundance, although a pause in the growth of CH4 has been observed since 1999.
How does this program fit into the big picture?
What is it's role in global climate change?
These measurements of trace species in air samples collected at Mauna Loa Observatory are part of a global network of such observations.
Comments and References
Trace species data from this measurement program at the Mauna Loa Observatory are regularly submitted to international archives for such data (eg. CDIAC, at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA)
CSIRO Atmospheric Research - Greenhouse Gases