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California Adding Emissions Measurement Network

picarroCalifornia will measure greenhouse gas emissions via a network of tracking stations, as part of the California Air Resources Board goal to reduce GHG emissions 25 percent by 2020.

CARB has ordered an initial allotment of gaz analyzers from Picarro. These seven machines will be placed strategically and used to measure methane, according to a press release.

Methane captures 20 times as much heat in the atmosphere as CO2, on a molecule-by-molecule comparison.

Picarro says this will be the first such state-level monitoring network.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is participating in the project.

The portable machines will be placed on towers in the ag- and oil-heavy San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys, as well as on Mount Wilson, outside Los Angeles. On the coast, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will monitor a machine. The rest will be placed at monitoring stations operated by other agencies, reports the New York Times.

A single Picarro analyzer can measure GHGs over a range as large as several hundred miles, depending on weather and topography.

Each machine costs about $50,000, reports the San Jose Business Journal.

Measuring emissions will be a crucial part of CARB’s role. In November, California put plans in motion to develop its own cap-and-trade program.

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