Aircraft Measured Bay Area, Sacramento Valley Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Photo of the Cessna 210 used to measure species
Photo of the Cessna 210 used to measure species
April 2009

R&D Collaboration of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, NOAA, UC Davis

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the University of California recently measured greenhouse gases over California using aircraft to improve estimates of the state's GHG emissions. The Airborne Greenhouse Gas Emissions Survey (AGES) project is developing methods that are expected to prove important for verifying emissions reductions mandated by California's assembly bill AB 32.

The flights use a Cessna 210 aircraft equipped with instruments to measure multiple GHG (e.g., CO2, CH4, N2O) species above the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento Valley areas.

The Berkeley Lab effort, led by Marc Fischer of the Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division, is a collaboration with Colm Sweeney, at NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Professor Ian Faloona at UC Davis, and Suman Surapali and Tom Sherwood of Kalscott Engineering in Lawrence, Kansas. The project is partially supported by DOE's Office of Biological and Environmental Research.

The AGES project builds on tall-tower GHG measurements that are being made by the California Greenhouse Gas Emissions (CALGEM) Project, another Berkeley Lab-NOAA collaboration partially supported by the California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research Program.

In this project, combining the aircraft sampling and tall-tower measurements from CALGEM , Fischer's team will refine estimates of GHG emissions such as CO2, CH4, and N2O from Central California energy consumption and agricultural activities.

Editors: If you are interested in talking to Marc Fischer about his research, please set up a time to call or visit by emailing him at the addresses listed below.