Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.

 

Stephen Hawking

 

CO2 from fossil fuels discerned from natural sources

RATE THIS! +0
Posted in Science on 20th Apr, 2012 07:50 PM by AlexMuller

It measures one type, or isotope, of carbon that decays over time - long since gone from fossil fuels.

 

As explained in the Journal of Geophysical Research, the method may prove useful in CO2 monitoring efforts.

 

However, experts say that the approach must be calibrated against existing carbon-measuring techniques.

 

The research was led by scientists from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Laboratory in the US, who studied six years' worth of atmospheric sampling data gathered by aircraft over two sites in the northeastern US.

 

The team focused on the rare isotope carbon-14, which is constantly produced in tiny amounts in the atmosphere when cosmic rays hit nitrogen atoms, and which decays away over thousands of years.

 

Buried away for millions of years underground, fossil fuels contain virtually no carbon-14; and neither does the CO2 emitted when the fuels burn.

 

But CO2 coming from plants does contain carbon-14.

 

That difference that showed up in the team's atmospheric samples as a ratio of natural, "biogenic" CO2 to fossil fuel CO2.

 

 Centre for Carbon Measurement
 The trick could complement existing carbon accounting methods used to monitor how much CO2 countries and regions are producing, principal among them the self-reporting of fossil fuel usage.

 

"While the accounting-based approach is probably accurate at global scales, the uncertainties rise for smaller-scale regions," said the Earth System Research Laboratory's John Miller, lead author of the study.

 

"And as CO2 emissions targets become more widespread, there may be a greater temptation to under-report. But we'll be able to see through that."

 

However, the method may not stretch down to a level of geographic detail that is increasingly important for single CO2 sources such as power plants.

 

"Other types of physical measurement (of CO2 levels) are being driven by emissions trading, and I'm not sure how far this would be able to extend to application at the individual site and installation level," said Jane Burston, head of the Centre for Carbon Measurement at the UK's National Physical Laboratory.

 

The centre's head of emissions Rod Robinson explained that much work needs to be done to validate the assumptions of the method and ensure it gives similar quality results as existing physical and accounting measurements.

 

Nevertheless, Ms Burston said the method would be a valuable tool in the quest to understand fully how carbon is released and distributed.

 

"For things like CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, the best way of going about it is just getting as many measurements as you can from the ground, from the atmosphere, and from satellites," she told BBC News.

 

"The more measurements we have from different sources, the more accurate we can make them all."



Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Science on 2017-07-27 15:19:10
    Could 'cocktail geoengineering' save the climate?..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-07-27 15:13:16
    Ketamine has 'truly remarkable' effect on depression..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-07-27 14:59:50
    Renewable Energy Just Hit a Big Milestone..read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-07-26 17:05:11
    Eye test could help diagnose autism..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-07-26 16:55:24
    Cognitive cross-training enhances learning, study finds..read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Obesity is top cause of preventable life-years lost, study shows..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Light can be utilized to control gene function..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Brain stimulation restores memory during lapses, research shows..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Wax worm caterpillar will eat plastic shopping bags: New.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me