Climate change is one of the greatest risks to society worldwide. The increase of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere from man-made emissions (CO2 and N2O are major contributors) is the main cause of global warming. We need to discriminate man-made from natural contributions in the atmosphere, to provide governments with emission inventory data to support verification of nationally determined emission targets and allow pledges of emissions reductions to be demonstrated. This cannot be achieved with existing metrological infrastructure, so new research to underpin measurements of stable isotopes of CO2 and N2O, which infers their origin, is vital.
The overall objective of this project is to fill a traceability gap by providing a new infrastructure for stable isotopes to deliver international gaseous CO2 reference materials to meet the increasing demand and international gaseous N2O reference materials with stated uncertainties to underpin measurements. Additionally, the project will validate existing and develop new field-deployable spectroscopy to work towards the long-term goal of meeting the specification of mass spectrometry (0.01‰) and initiating SI traceability of the international CO2 isotope ratio scale by re-measuring the absolute isotope ratios by gas-source isotope ratio mass spectrometry.