Atmospheric CO estimates may be low


  • Charles Blue


Carbon monoxide, an atmospheric gas that plays an important role in the chemical interactions involved in the global greenhouse effect, may have been underestimated by as much as 25% in some studies, according to a paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research (vol. 96, D7, July 20, 1991).

Paul C. Novelli and L. Paul Steele of the University of Colorado and James W. Elkins of NOAA developed a series of carbon monoxide reference mixtures for use in the calibration of measurements of atmospheric concentrations of CO. They compared various existing CO reference gases from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), whose standards were referenced to those maintained by the Oregon Graduate Institute for Science and Technology (OGIST).