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AgriLife Research adds new instrumentation to measure greenhouse gases
Date:12/21/2011

accurately measure the increase in concentration," Casey said.

The open path configuration of these instruments allows more sensitive measurements to be made by integrating the concentration in the air over a path length of 300-450 meters between an infra-red light source and the spectrometer, Casey said.

Working together, the two open path spectrometers can measure the concentration of nitrous oxide downwind and upwind of the feedyard regardless of which direction the wind is coming from, he said.

"Other agricultural operations such as field cultivation and fertilizer application can contribute to a varying background which must be accurately accounted for in calculating the emissions," Casey said. "If you can't account for the background, then you can't measure the emissions from the feedyard alone."

The scientists will be continuously monitoring the emissions of nitrous oxide particularly, because they are episodic, influenced by season and by rainfall, he said. "If you are not there when it happens, you miss it."

Their goal is to get a good measurement of the annual emissions and then "we can use this data for improving the emissions workbooks of federal and other regulating agencies," Casey said.

"Also, by gaining a better understanding of what controls these emissions and when they occur, we can guide feedyard management in implementing practices that can minimize the emissions," he said.


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Contact: Kay Ledbetter
SKledbetter@ag.tamu.edu
806-677-5608
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Source:Eurekalert  

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