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Low cost and state of the art methods to measure nitrous oxide emissions

Hensen, Arjan; Skiba, Ute; Famulari, Daniela. 2013 Low cost and state of the art methods to measure nitrous oxide emissions. Environmental Research Letters, 8 (2), 025022 . 10, pp. 10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/025022

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Abstract/Summary

This letter provides an overview of the available measurement techniques for nitrous oxide (N2O) flux measurement. It is presented to aid the choice of the most appropriate methods for different situations. Nitrous oxide is a very potent greenhouse gas; the effect of 1 kg of N2O is estimated to be equivalent to 300 kg of CO2. Emissions of N2O from the soil have a larger uncertainty compared to other greenhouse gases. Important reasons for this are low atmospheric concentration levels and enormous spatial and temporal variability. Traditionally such small increases are measured by chambers and analyzed by gas chromatography. Spatial and temporal resolution is poor, but costs are low. To detect emissions at the field scale and high temporal resolution, differences at tens of ppt levels need to be resolved. Reliable instruments are now available to measure N2O by a range of micrometeorological methods, but at high financial cost. Although chambers are effective in identifying processes and treatment effects and mitigation, the future lies with the more versatile high frequency and high sensitivity sensors.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/025022
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 1 - Monitoring and Interpretation of Biogeochemical and Climate Changes > BGC - 1.2 - Manage, assimilate and integrate long-term datasets ...
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry
CEH Sections: Billett (to November 2013)
ISSN: 1748-9326
Additional Keywords: chamber methods, infrared analyzers, micrometeorological methods, eddy covariance
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 13 Mar 2014 15:47 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/505672

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