Title

A Comparison of Carbon Dioxide and Methane Levels at Four Tower Sites Across the United States

Abstract

Looking at seasonality and overall trends for different greenhouse gases allows scientists develop models for the future, and also look at areas where humans can lessen the negative impacts they are h avin g on th e Earth ’s atm osp h ere. Carbon Dioxid e (CO ₂) and Methane (CH₄) are greenhouse gases that are well documented, and have been steadily increasing over time due to anthropogenic sources. Here we present the results of an investigation of the overall temporal trends and seasonal variations of both gases using NOAA Programmable Flask Package (PFP) data. PFPs are automated sampling packages that can be sent anywhere and sampled by aircraft, towers, or mobile laboratories. All PFP air samples are analyzed at the central analytical lab at NOAA, Boulder by spectroscopy or chromatography. While PFP data have been collected at 17 tower sites since the early 2000s, this study makes use of 4 specific tower sites in the contiguous United States (see table 1, map 1). Sites were chosen in order to sample a variety of tower environments and to ensure a healthy sampling of data from 2006/ 2007 to the present. Carbon dioxide and methane both show d istinct seasonal trends at all

Mentor

Ben R. Miller, Gabrielle Pétron

Lab site

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly SLO)

Funding Acknowledgement

This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation. This project has also been made possible with support of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The STAR program is administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESaME) on behalf of the California State University (CSU)., This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013 and Grant No. 0934931. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation. This project has also been made possible with support of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The STAR program is administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESaME) on behalf of the California State University (CSU)., This material is based upon work supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of HHMI. This work was administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME) and the Fresno State Science and Mathematics Education Center (SMEC) on behalf of the California State University.

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URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/star/307