SU Zeppelin > Measurements > Gases
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Gas measurements

The air around us consists almost entirely of Nitrogen (ca 78%) and Oxygen (ca 21%). The remaining percent is mainly Argon, but also trace amounts of very important gases. One of the more well known of these trace gases is CO2 (carbon dioxide). Because CO2 absorbs thermal radiation emitted by the Earth, carbon dioxide functions like a blanket or greenhouse. The more CO2 present in the atmosphere the warmer the climate will be.

The use of fossil fuel emits large amounts of CO2 and as a result the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has increased quickly since the beginning of industrialization. When trees and other plants grow, they consume CO2 from the atmosphere, which cause an annual cycle in the carbon dioxide concentration. Making measurements away from the direct sources and sinks provides a clearer signal in the data in order to monitor possible trends in trace gas concentrations.