Picarro Blog

The Ozone Has Its Day

Date: September 16, 2020

From donuts to spinach (yes, spinach), everything seems to have a day dedicated to it. Today is no different -- only this time, it matters. September 16 is World Ozone Day. This year celebrates 35 years of the Vienna Convention and 35 years of global ozone layer protection. In honor of World Ozone Day, we’re taking a look back over the last decade at some of the important work customers all over the world have done using our gas analyzers to measure greenhouse gases in support of ozone research.

In North America, the NOAA ESRL GMD Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Gases Group’s aircraft network conducted bi-weekly flask sampling, and through collaboration with GMD’s Ozone group, also conducted continuous ozone measurements. A site in Alaska was added to the network, through a collaborative effort with the U.S. Coast Guard. Flasks sampled in flight were analyzed at NOAA ESRL for the major greenhouse gases and a variety of halocarbons and hydrocarbons that influence climate, stratospheric ozone, and air quality. In 2011, a four-species Picarro analyzer was installed, adding continuous CO measurements to the site. Visit the Aircraft Program - US Coast Guard Collaboration: Alaska (ACG) page on the NOAA website to learn more about this project, or login to Picarro’s Community section to see the “Greenhouse Gas and Ozone Measurements from Aircraft in Alaska 2009 – 2011” presentation on the deployed instrumentation as well as data collected from the 2009, 2010 and 2011.

In China, Picarro instruments are also being used in ozone research. China’s rapid economic growth in the past three decades has come with a drastic increase in fossil fuel energy consumption – resulting in the deterioration of air quality. In the spring of 2016, the Air Chemistry Research in Asia (ARIAs) campaign conducted airborne measurements of air pollutants including O3, CO, NO and NO2 to study the air pollution in the North China Plain. Concentrations of CO and CO2 were monitored with a 4-channel Picarro CRDS instrument (Model G2401-m). In the paper, “Evaluation of Anthropogenic Emissions and Ozone Pollution in the North China Plain: Insights from the ARIAs Campaign,” the researchers outlined the study and results that may help improve the modeling of ozone pollution in China – which may provide scientific evidence for future national and international regulations on air quality.

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Meteorological Organization (WM0) provides a framework for international cooperation and coordination on the state and behavior of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces, and the resulting distribution of water resources. WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Programme studies the variability and trends in atmospheric composition and how they impact things such as ozone depletion. Researchers at several GAW stations have used Picarro instruments in their efforts to provide a comprehensive set of high quality and long-term globally harmonized datasets of atmospheric composition. In May of 2019, the evaluation of the Picarro G2401 was described in the “System and Performance Audit of Surface Ozone, Carbon Monoxide, Methane, Carbon Dioxide and Nitrous Oxide at the Global GAW Station Izaña, Spain".” As a result, the G2401 was ranked a 5 out of 5 or “State of the art” for instrumentation and will become the primary instrument for methane measurements there.

These are just a few examples of the important scientific work customers are doing. Picarro is honored to contribute to this important research.

By Monica Marmie, Marketing Communications Manager at Picarro. Monica is a results-oriented strategic communications professional with extensive experience creating integrated programs and campaigns in the high-tech industry that support business and marketing objectives.