What could it be? Something from Los Angeles?
Robert Clemenzi tells us in comments:
Fox5 news in DC just announced that Earth Networks (Gaithersburg, MD) is providing a new service to provide real time CO2 foot print videos for cities. Associated with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, they plan to spend $25 million to “complete” the system. It is unbelievable that, using only 100 sensors, they are able to directly monitor the air over the ocean near LA. They even have altitude data.
Here’s the press release:
Germantown, Md. and La Jolla, Calif. – January 12, 2011 – Earth Networks, formerly AWS Convergence Technologies and the owner and operator of the popular WeatherBug® products and services, announced its expanded focus to include additional environmental observations and measurements, beginning with the deployment of the largest global greenhouse gas (GHG) observation network in close collaboration with Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Earth Networks CEO Robert Marshall and Dr. Tony Haymet, director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, will announce the news at a press event on the Scripps campus in La Jolla, Calif., today at 10 am PST / 1 pm EST, and is available via webcast through the media center at earthnetworks.com and at http://earthnetworks.com/MediaCenter/LiveEarthNetworksPressConference.aspx.
The immediate goal of the Earth Networks Greenhouse Gas Observation Network is to improve the understanding of GHGs in the atmosphere. By deploying and networking many instruments and combining that data with information from its existing weather networks around the world, Earth Networks will become a valuable source for detailed and reliable global environmental information. The data will be available to inform the research community, policy makers and private industry with more precise environmental intelligence.
Further, the network will enable the independent measurement, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas levels and emissions to support international and regional climate policy initiatives. In embarking on this new and expanded mission, Earth Networks is establishing the Earth Networks Center for Climate Research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. This new center forms the pinnacle of scientific research collaboration between Earth Networks and Scripps and will be co-directed by Scripps Professor Ralph Keeling and Distinguished Scripps Research Professor Ray Weiss.
Scripps Oceanography, a part of the University of California, San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest and most important centers for ocean and earth science research, education and public service in the world. Scripps scientists are playing a vital role in advising Earth Networks regarding the network design, methods to ensure data quality, and linking the network data to atmospheric modeling experts at research institutions around the world. Looking ahead, Scripps researchers and their scientific colleagues plan to leverage the Earth Networks Center for Climate Research to conduct new, broad and far-reaching climate science. Today, only a few dozen continuous GHG observing locations exist, which limits analysis. In contrast, Earth Networks will initially deploy 100 GHG observing systems worldwide, beginning with 50 in the continental U.S., followed by deployments in Europe and other areas of the world. The density of the Earth Networks approach will make it possible to quantify and map more localized GHG emissions and uptakes (sinks), and importantly, their changes over time.
Earth Networks will initially utilize environmental instruments from Sunnyvale, California-based Picarro. 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. CO2 and CH4 are the two most important long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Earth Networks is also working with scientific collaborators to apply sophisticated atmospheric modeling techniques to establish carbon and carbon-equivalent footprint reports for considerably smaller geographic regions than is currently practical.
The atmospheric modeling techniques involve coupling greenhouse gas and weather measurements with computer models of regional atmospheric transport to quantify GHG emission and uptake processes on a regional scale. This combined approach enables a better understanding of the complex global distribution and circulation of GHGs in the atmosphere. Earth Networks – similar to its experience with weather networks – anticipates that the initial network deployment will increase substantially over time and become a “network of networks” with several hundred observing systems worldwide.
Press release link
And the question is: What good is this beyond some hype on your local TV newscast? “Earth Networks” aka WeatherBug is a TV service. So will our local TV meteorologists and weathercasters now terrorize viewers with giant blobs of CO2 attacking the city?
Bet on it.