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The IARC has just purchased an in situ analyser for greenhouse gases based on a spectroscopic technique


The Izaña Atmospheric Research Center (IARC) of the Meteorological State Agency of Spain (AEMET) has just purchased an in situ analyser for CO2, CH4, CO and H2O based on the CRDS (Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy) spectroscopic technique. This analyser is one of the analysers recommended by the European infrastructure ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System) for measuring atmospheric greenhouse gases with very high accuracy. The new instruments for measuring in situ greenhouse gases based on spectroscopic techniques have a response function more stable in time than their predecessors (i.e., no dispersive infrared analysers –NDIRs- and gas chromatographs). Therefore, they require a smaller calibration frequency with gas standards traceable to the WMO (World Meteorological Organization) primary standards. For instance, the Izaña NDIRs are calibrated during 9 minutes every hour using 3 WMO quaternary standard gases, the 24 hours of the day, the 365 days of the year. Additionally, the new instrument has the advantage of measuring simultaneously several greenhouse gases and not needing chromatographic gases.       

A group of IARC-AEMET researchers submitted a project to the infrastructure call of the Spanish MINECO (Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness) published at the end of 2013, where on a competitive basis they got funds for purchasing this instrument, as well as 3 additional instruments for other measurement programmes of the IARC. The obtained funds comprise the payment of 80% of the instrument cost by the MINECO using ERDF funds, being the remaining 20% cost paid by AEMET. At the end of 2014, the project was approved by the MINECO, and in 2015 AEMET published a public call of tenders for supplying this analyser.