Interest in atmospheric carbon dioxide is growing because of the probable influence on global warming and exacerbated air quality issues. Carbon dioxide over land in our cities, suburbs, and countryside is highly variable and not well known. The way carbon dioxide is emitted, sequestered, and transported in the terrestrial system can be explored by monitoring how carbon dioxide concentrations change over different time and space scales. This can be done through observation networks. The high-resolution carbon dioxide data obtained through these networks provides some of the necessary information for scientists to understand the basic physics, biology, and chemistry in the environment. This information provides society with a better understanding of the air quality in our immediate environments and policy makers with necessary knowledge to make appropriate infrastructure decisions.
Carbon dioxide in rural areas is primarily controlled by the respiration and photosynthesis of the plants and animals, as well as the carbon dioxide that is transported by wind movement from other locations.
Carbon dioxide in urban environments is greatly altered by building emissions, vehicle exhausts and other anthropogenic activities. Urban carbon dioxide levels are also influenced by air coming from other locations.
Read about the way that LACOP collects data at its observation sites.