Press Releases

World's Largest Private Greenhouse Gas Measurement Network Powered by Picarro Analyzers

Sunnyvale, Calif. - Jan. 12, 2011 - Picarro, Inc., world leader in instrumentation for measurement of carbon and water cycles, announced that it would provide instrumentation for the world’s largest privately owned greenhouse gas (GHG) measurement network. The new network, which is owned and operated by Earth Networks, will quickly deploy 50 Picarro G2301 instruments to measure carbon dioxide and methane in the U.S., with 50 more slated for deployment outside U.S. borders.  The world renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography will provide technical and scientific oversight regarding the construction, management, and data collection undertaken by the new network.

This is the first private-sector effort to measure critical greenhouse gases and provide more comprehensive data to scientists, governments and businesses that are trying to understand and plan for the impact of recent changes in atmospheric chemistry. “We are thrilled to participate in this project with Earth Networks and Scripps. Our goal has always been to build the most precise and easy to use instruments for scientists to measure environmental change,” said Picarro CEO Michael Woelk.  “This network has the potential to dramatically enhance our understanding of atmospheric science .  Moreover. the emergence of this network is validation of our long-held belief that the private sector will play a valuable role in providing the essential data to help construct effective policies.”

The Picarro GHG analyzers utilize a technique known as Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) to make precise and reliable measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Earth Networks will use gas calibration standards from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that insure compatibility with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) scales for GHGs. Carbon dioxide and methane are the two most important long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. “Our mission is to take the ‘pulse of the planet’ by measuring key global environmental data on an unprecedented scale, utilizing the latest measurement and networking technologies,” said CEO Robert Marshall, who in 1993 co-founded AWS Convergence Technologies, the company that has become Earth Networks.

 Aside from Earth Networks, Picarro has supplied greenhouse gas analyzers to several other prominent measurement networks for broad national and international projects targeting analysis of fluxes of greenhouse gases. Those projects include a network for the China Meteorological Administration, the European Union’s Integrated Carbon Observation System, and the U.S.-based National Ecological Observatory Network, three of the largest government-funded observation networks in the world, among others. Scripps Professor Ralph Keeling and Distinguished Scripps Research Professor Ray Weiss will advise Earth Networks on network construction and design, and on how to provide the data to atmospheric modeling experts at research institutions around the world. Looking ahead, Scripps researchers and their scientific colleagues plan to leverage the new network to conduct new broad and far-reaching climate science.