Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Greenhouse Gas Measurements and Data

Measurement Tools, Standards, and Reference Data

NIST develops greenhouse gas standards and measurement tools for:

  • Supporting research on analytical methods and detection measurements;
  • Developing GHG concentration standards, and spectroscopic reference data for gas monitoring;
  • Publishing measurement guidelines and calibration procedures;
  • Developing innovative test methods that are SI traceable.
small icon
Reference Data for GHG Sensing – (J. Hodges, Materials Measurement Lab) Goal: to enable SI-traceable, absolute, laser-spectroscopic-based amount-of-substance measurements of greenhouse gases and atmospheric pollutants.
Sensor Development: Metrology Tools for Climate Science – (D. Long, MML) Goal: to develop ultra-sensitive, SI-traceable laser measurement techniques for measuring the amount-of-substance of greenhouse gases.
Standard Reference Materials and Gas Metrology – (G. Rhoderick, MML) Goal: to develop suites of SI-traceable, amount-of-substance, primary gas standard mixtures for the key greenhouse gas species that are very accurate with low uncertainties.
Seawater Chemistry and Defining pH – (J. Waters, MML) Goal: to establish rigorous traceability for measurements of seawater pH, extending from pH reference standards in artificial seawater certified using primary techniques to spectrophotometric pH measurements of natural seawaters using high-purity sulfonephthalein dyes characterized using quantitative nuclear magnetic resonance techniques.
Microwave Remote Sensing and Standards for Weather Forecasting and Climate Science – (D. Walker, Physical Measurement Lab) Goal: to develop and deploy SI-traceable brightness-temperature standards and metrology to support US weather forecasting and climate science needs.
NIST CROMMA Facility: A Unified Coordinated Metrology Space for Millimeter - Wave Antenna Characterization– (J. Gordon and D. Novotny, PML) Goal: to develop new metrology techniques for antennas operating in climate monitoring bands (100 GHz-500 GHz) based on robotics and coordinated spatial metrology.
Mid-Infrared Sources and Techniques for Greenhouse Gas Detection – (S. Diddams and N. Newbury, PML) Goal: to develop broadband mid infrared frequency comb sources and spectroscopic sensing techniques for quantitative greenhouse gas detection in support of climate science.
Greenhouse Gas Monitoring using Fiber Frequency Combs – (N. Newbury and S. Diddams, PML) Goal: to develop a novel frequency comb-based sensor for the accurate and precise measurement of greenhouse gases over kilometer-scale open air paths. This system can support future regional studies as well as provide truth data for the validation of satellite-based systems.
Differential Absorption LIDAR (DIAL) for Greenhouse Gas Measurements – (D. Plusquellic and S. Maxwell, PML) Goal: to develop cost-effective methods for accurately quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from natural and anthropogenic distributed sources and sinks to meet the requirements for mitigation efforts. To achieve this objective, advanced laser and detector technologies are being developed and tested for quantitative CO2 and CH4 measurements over a distributed site.
Total Integrated Absorption & Tomographic Reconstruction of Area Sources – (Z. Levine, PML) Goal: The Infrared Technology Group develops and disseminates the measurement science and standards for infrared radiation and infrared materials properties.


Created December 16, 2014, Updated April 5, 2022