Press Releases

400 ppm CO2 Milestone Marked Using Picarro Technology

Picarro Analyzer Took Historic Measurement on Mauna Loa

Santa Clara, CA – May 16, 2013 – Researchers from SCRIPPS studying atmospheric levels at the Mauna Loa Observatory last week recorded the milestone 400 parts per million (ppm) CO2 concentration using instrumentation from Picarro Inc.

The Mauna Loa observatory is a premier atmospheric research facility, and ideal for monitoring climate change due to the undisturbed air and minimal outside influences atop the Big Island of Hawaii. Scientists working there from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography with support from Earth Networks employ Picarro’s G2301 analyzer to measure CO2, CH4, and H2O because the device is able to detect target molecules with the high-level precision required for atmospheric measurements, can be reliably deployed in remote locations, and produces stable data over long periods of time.

"Using the Picarro instrument is beneficial because it is more stable and requires fewer calibrations. We envision major cost and labor savings in the long run using Picarro, without sacrificing quality and are excited to continue the historic CO2 record with the Picarro," said Ralph Keeling, Program Director of the Scripps CO2 Program and the Principal Investigator for the Atmospheric Oxygen Research Group at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

“Mauna Loa is hallowed ground for atmospheric science, and we are honored that our instruments were entrusted to produce this historic, though alarming measurement. As the urgency around climate change increases, we will continue to collaborate with scientists in providing the caliber of equipment and services required to generate strong, credible data that informs research and empowers decision-making,” said Michael Woelk, CEO of Picarro, Inc.

Picarro analyzers are relied upon at Mauna Loa, and at research stations around the globe to precisely and accurately report CO2 levels and much more.  Picarro’s greenhouse gas analyzers not only meet the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) uncertainty requirements for measuring greenhouse gases, they were chosen by the WMO to be used as the greenhouse gas network gold standard for Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) stations. Picarro analyzers were also chosen by Earth Networks to be the only greenhouse gas instrument in their global network. Systems in both networks are measuring CO2, CH4, CO and H2O continuously from tall towers such as the Walnut Grove Tower in California, the Ivory Coast Tower in South Africa and the Zotino Tower in Siberia.

In addition to atmospheric testing, Picarro instrumentation also plays an important role in ground-level monitoring. The Picarro Surveyor™, a fully integrated hardware and geo-informatics platform, helps secure the nation’s natural gas distribution network by identifying gas leaks, aiding to limit the release of methane before it further increases greenhouse gas levels. Unlike the atmospheric instruments, Picarro Surveyor technology is mounted in a vehicle, generating real-time maps of gas plumes while moving at traffic speeds.