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Atmospheric change

Observations to derive the atmospheric abundance of greenhouse gases

The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) has a strong expertise in ground- and space-based remote sensing measurements, among others in the infrared spectral domain. From such observations, one can derive the atmospheric abundance of a number of greenhouse gases like CO2, CH4, N2O,…

Ground-based remote sensingBy performing such measurements continuously for years, long-term trends of greenhouse gas concentrations can be detected.

BIRA-IASB has been performing such measurements on the Ile de La Réunion, in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, since 2002.

These observations are obtained using a ground-based Fourier transform infrared spectrometer and are included in the database of the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC).

This database is used extensively by BIRA-IASB for the validation of numerical prediction models and space-based measurements, for example CH4 with the help of SCIAMACHY on ENVISAT. At present work is ongoing in also providing CH4 data based on radiance measurements from the IASI instrument onboard METOP.


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