Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 13449-13463, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-13449-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
31 Oct 2016
The BErkeley Atmospheric CO2 Observation Network: initial evaluation
Alexis A. Shusterman1, Virginia E. Teige1, Alexander J. Turner2, Catherine Newman1, Jinsol Kim3, and Ronald C. Cohen1,3 1Department of Chemistry, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
2School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
3Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
Abstract. With the majority of the world population residing in urban areas, attempts to monitor and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions must necessarily center on cities. However, existing carbon dioxide observation networks are ill-equipped to resolve the specific intra-city emission phenomena targeted by regulation. Here we describe the design and implementation of the BErkeley Atmospheric CO2 Observation Network (BEACO2N), a distributed CO2 monitoring instrument that utilizes low-cost technology to achieve unprecedented spatial density throughout and around the city of Oakland, California. We characterize the network in terms of four performance parameters – cost, reliability, precision, and systematic uncertainty – and find the BEACO2N approach to be sufficiently cost-effective and reliable while nonetheless providing high-quality atmospheric observations. First results from the initial installation successfully capture hourly, daily, and seasonal CO2 signals relevant to urban environments on spatial scales that cannot be accurately represented by atmospheric transport models alone, demonstrating the utility of high-resolution surface networks in urban greenhouse gas monitoring efforts.

Citation: Shusterman, A. A., Teige, V. E., Turner, A. J., Newman, C., Kim, J., and Cohen, R. C.: The BErkeley Atmospheric CO2 Observation Network: initial evaluation, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 13449-13463, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-13449-2016, 2016.
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Short summary
We describe the design of and first results from the BErkeley Atmospheric CO2 Observation Network, a distributed instrument of 28 CO2 sensors stationed across and around the city of Oakland, California at ~ 2 km intervals. We evaluate the network via 4 performance parameters (cost, reliability, precision, systematic uncertainty) and find this high density technique to be sufficiently cost-effective and rigorous to inform understanding of small-scale urban emissions relevant to climate regulation.
We describe the design of and first results from the BErkeley Atmospheric CO2 Observation...
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