Urban Emissions

Providing the knowledge
to drive meaningful change.

Urban Emissions

Urban Emissions

Gain deeper insight into city-wide carbon cycles with analyzers that can track domestic, industrial and vehicular emissions while also measuring sequestration in city green spaces. Because greenhouse gases are a proxy for other pollutants and particulate matter, Picarro’s data can also help provide a health check for urban air.

Deployed in places as diverse as the Eiffel Tower, the Greenland ice cap and glacial rivers in Xinjiang, China—our analyzers have a proven record in the field. Portable, reliable and easy to use, they're ideal for the complexities of urban emissions monitoring.

Research Applications

City-wide greenhouse gas quantification

Picarro’s concentration and isotopic ratio instruments for measuring greenhouse gases can be deployed in cars, in aircraft and on buildings to create an urban greenhouse monitoring network. This integrated network can generate real-time, continuous data and information about how, when and where emissions evolve.

Using this data, cities can share emissions information to empower citizens, scientists and businesses to take action. This data can also be used as a metric to help ascertain whether or not greenhouse gas reduction programs are actually working and to validate economic incentives for carbon reduction programs. Ultimately, it is about leaving a legacy of making smart decisions for the benefit of future generations.

Get more from these articles:

Mapping methane leaks in a city

To assess local pipeline emissions, A Boston University Scientist mapped CH4 leaks across all 785 road miles in the city of Boston using a CRDS mobile CH4 analyzer. In all, 3,356 CH4 leaks with escalated concentrations were identified.

Get more from the paper: Mapping Urban Pipeline Leaks: Methane Leaks Across Boston.

Airborne greenhouse gas measurements

Purdue University’s Airborne Laboratory for Atmospheric Research (ALAR), outfitted with a Picarro CO2 and CH4 analyzer, was used to gather measurements with high spatial resolution over Indianapolis, Indiana. For most flights, the urban plume was clearly distinguishable in the downwind concentrations. The team found large variability in the day-to-day emissions fluxes.

Get more from the paper: Aircraft-Based Measurements of the Carbon Footprint of Indianapolis.

Airborne characterization of hydrocarbon emissions

A Picarro flight-ready analyzer was used along with flask measurements by a group of scientists from NOAA, University of Colorado, Lawrence Berkley and Lawrence Livermore National Labs and University of California to measure in situ CO2, CO, and CH4 concentrations over and downwind of Sacramento, California. Strong correlations were observed between CO2 emitted from fossil fuel and trace gases associated with urban emissions, indicating that this method can be used to verify and improve emission inventories for other poorly known species and to separate biogenic CO2 cycles.

Get more from the paper: Assessment of fossil fuel carbon dioxide and other anthropogenic trace gas emissions from airborne measurements over Sacramento, California in spring 2009.

Greenhouse gas impact of green roofs

Researcher, Wade McGillis from Columbia University, LDEO, deployed Picarro’s greenhouse gas flux analyzer on the largest greenroof in New York City to help assess its benefits as a carbon and water mitigation strategy. The eddy covariance method was used to assess fluxes of CO2, CH4 and H2O from the roof.

Get more from the paper: Greenroofs, Fluxes, Heat Islands and Water Quality: LDEO's NYC Project on the Impact of Green Roofs.

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