Greenhouse Gas Measurements
- Greenhouse Gases Expand or Collapse
- Research Areas Expand or Collapse
- Urban Test Beds
- Research by NIST Laboratories and Divisions Expand or Collapse
- International Activities
What We Do
Greenhouse gases (GHGs) stream out of power plants, seep out of landfills, flow from vehicle traffic, and rise from commercial buildings and homes. These climate-altering emissions are nearly ubiquitous, which makes them difficult to measure. But as countries around the world work to reduce emissions, measuring them accurately is more important than ever.
To find innovative, cost-effective solutions for managing emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and other GHGs, decision-makers need accurate, actionable, and timely information. We are developing new technologies to provide that information—technologies that measure emissions based on direct atmospheric observations with less uncertainty, and faster turnaround times, than currently possible.
A Focus on Cities
Urban areas are home to roughly half the world’s population and they account for more than 70 percent of total GHG emissions. That’s why NIST has established three Urban Test Beds, where scientists are developing advanced technologies for directly measuring GHG emissions at urban scales. This will make it possible to attribute emissions to specific sources such as individual neighborhoods, traffic corridors, and landfills, and allow for more effective management of local emissions.
A Trusted Third Party
When you buy a gallon of gas or a pound of sugar, you can be confident that you’re getting what you paid for in part thanks to measurement standards developed at NIST. NIST is also developing measurement standards for GHG emissions. Because NIST is not a regulatory agency, we are able to work closely with all interested parties to ensure that greenhouse gas emission measurements are accurate and reliable.