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NIST Standards for Measurement, Instrument Calibration, and Quantification of Gaseous Atmospheric Species



George C. Rhoderick, Michael E. Kelley, Walter R. Miller Jr., James E. Norris, Jennifer Carney, Lyn Gameson, Christina Cecelski, Cassie Goodman, Abneesh Srivastava, Joseph Hodges


There are many gas species present in the atmosphere that are associated with the earth’s climate. These compounds absorb and emit radiation, a process which is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The major greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone. Some halocarbons are also strong greenhouse gases and are linked to stratospheric ozone depletion. Hydrocarbons and monoterpenes are precursors and contributors to atmospheric photochemical processes which leads to the formation of particulates and secondary photo oxidants such as ozone leading to photochemical smog. Reactive gases such as nitric oxide and sulfur dioxide are also species found in the atmosphere and generally lead to the formation of other oxides. These species can be oxidized in the air to acidic and corrosive gases, and contribute to photochemical smog. Measurements of these species in the atmosphere have been ongoing for decades to track growth rates and assist in curbing emissions of these compounds into the atmosphere. To accurately establish mole fraction trends and assess the role of these gas species in atmospheric chemistry it is essential to have good calibration standards. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has been developing standards of many of these species for over 40 years. This paper will discuss the development of these standards.
Journal of Analytical Chemistry


gas standards, greenhouse gases, ozone, mercury, halocarbons


Rhoderick, G. , Kelley, M. , Miller, W. , Norris, J. , Carney, J. , Gameson, L. , Cecelski, C. , Goodman, C. , Srivastava, A. and Hodges, J. (2018), NIST Standards for Measurement, Instrument Calibration, and Quantification of Gaseous Atmospheric Species, Journal of Analytical Chemistry, [online], (Accessed May 22, 2024)


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Created March 1, 2018, Updated December 12, 2020