Dynamic Measurements of Greenhouse Gas Respirations Caused by Changing Oxygen Levels
The necessity for constant monitoring of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is clearly evident now more than ever. Moreover, interpreting and understanding the processes that dictate the production and consumption of these gases will allow for proper management of GHGs in order to mitigate its detrimental climate effects. Presence of oxygen, or lack of it, is the driving force for determining pathways within biochemical redox reactions. Experiments to find correlations between oxygen and greenhouse gases have helped us understand photosynthesis, denitrification and beyond. Within the past few years measurements of O2 and nitrous oxide have been used over a wide ranging array of disciplines; from studying avenues for redox chemistry to characterizing gas profiles in sputum of cystic fibrosis patients. We present a full analysis solution, based on cavity ring-down spectroscopy, for simultaneous measurements of N2O, CO2, CH4, H2O, NH3, and O2 concentrations in soil flux, in order to better understand dynamics of ecological and biogeochemical processes. The stability and high temporal resolution of the five-species CRDS analyzer, coupled with a continuous high-precision O2 measurement (1-σ <200ppm) produces a complete picture of biogeochemical processes, for which a multitude of additional research experiments can be conceived. Adding another dimension to explore to help determine the rate at which these greenhouse gases are produced or consumed, allows scientists to further address fundamental scientific questions. Data is presented showing precision, drift and limitations of the O2 sensor measurement as well as the validity of spectroscopic corrections with the CRDS analyzer caused by changing O2. Experimental data is also presented to explore correlations of soil respiration rates of N2O, CO2 and CH4 due to differing soil O2 contents at varying timescales from minutes to days.