TOKYO, JAPAN — I'm interested in composition, transformation, and transport in the troposphere, lower part of the Earth's atmosphere. This spans a wide range of areas including air quality in Asia, monitoring of reactive trace gases and aerosols, standardization of trace gases for atmospheric chemistry, and the intercation of climate change with air quality, among other topics.
The following is a transcript of my comments at the Nov 2nd 2011 Stakeholders Meeting set up by The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) at the behest of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in compliance with Section 204 of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA). The current programs only require documentation of the container itself. They are incapable of tracking the goods inside the container.
It seems such a short time ago that Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) was expanded and enacted through Title XI of the Farm Bill 2008. Yet legislators have already started the committee meetings and town hall discussions that are framing the early debates on Farm Bill 2012. COOL was intended as a step forward to improve consumers’ ability of to make rational choices of the origin of their food. However, it highlights the most significant problem in the food industry – there is insufficient testing used to verify the origin of the foods in our stores and restaurants.
FRANCE — In June, 2010 the LSCE installed a Picarro isotopic water Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy system that measures the isotopic composition of water vapor continuously in Niamey (Niger) on the campus of the Institute of Radioisotopes (IRI). This facility collects rainwater and makes other isotope measurements. The Picarro instrument is being used for the continuous measurement of the isotopic composition of water vapor throughout the monsoon season. This data should help us better understand and quantify the physical processes that occur within convective systems (re-evaporation in the unsaturated column, recycling water surface).
Our team led by Professor Sally Benson is measuring ambient carbon dioxide concentrations and isotopic carbon measurements from carbon dioxide at a site near Green River, Utah where there is leakage of CO2 along faults above a natural subsurface CO2 reservoir. The site presented an opportunity to test out methods for monitoring for CO2 leakage at the surface over the large areas that will be necessary for industrial CO2 sequestration projects.
JENA, GERMANY — I lead the airborne measurement group at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry. My main interest is to make atmospheric measurements of trace gases relevant for our earth's climate, and to utilize these data in combination with transport models to learn about sources/sinks of those gases, most prominently of CO2. On the experimental side this involves high accuracy measurement of trace gases from airborne platforms, but also development and optimization of such instrumentation...
David Valentine, Associate Professor of Earth Sciences SANTA BARBARA, CA — My lab team at UCSB studies the interactions among microbes, and between microbes and the Earth system. Our projects probe the global methane and hydrogen cycles, microbial physiology, and hydrocarbon biogeochemistry, with field sites from the Arctic to southern
We are deploying the world’s largest privately owned greenhouse gas (GHG) measurement network. This network will include 50 Picarro G2301 instruments to measure carbon dioxide and methane in the U.S., with 50 more slated for deployment outside U.S. borders. We are partnering with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography for technical and scientific assistance and construction of the critical data models required to create detailed inversion maps of regional emissions.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.
GRAZ, AUSTRIA — We used the Picarro isotopic water analyzer in a project financed by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology. High in the Austrian Alps our team (from the Joanneum Research Institute of Water Resources Management) installed a Picarro stable isotope analyzer at one of the largest karst springs in the country.
Hi, there. I'm Kevin Cunningham and I am the product manager for isotopic carbon analyzers at Picarro. I got my PhD in laser spectroscopy (but don't hold that against me) so it has been thrilling to work at Picarro where laser spectroscopy has been applied to so many other fields. And, you may have noticed, we have been announcing some fantastic innovations lately and now its my turn. The new G2131-i isotopic analyzer improves the precision levels for δ13C measurements by 3X with a guaranteed specification of 0.1 per mil at 380 parts per million.
When I joined Picarro at the start of September in 2009, Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy technology for isotope analysis had only just been created. In short order CRDS was validated by researchers whose laboratories specialized in using isotope ratio mass spectrometers (IRMS), devices which were previously considered the state of the art.
A general topic that has been discussed on this blog is “truth in labeling”. In the case of food, falsifying a label can mean lying about where it came from for prestige (Prosciutto carefully crafted in Parma carries a much higher market value than a piece of Bulgarian salted pork), politics (sure, profits from cocoa in nation “X” are being used to support a genocide, but it’s far cheaper than actually supplying it from stable nation “Y), or lying about a process (profit margins can be significantly increased if you cut that Macadamia Nut honey with some corn syrup).