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Initiation of a Greenhouse Gas Monitoring System in New York City

DOI: 10.4236/acs.2019.91002, PP. 26-34

Keywords: Greenhouse Gases, Methane, Carbon Dioxide, Anthropogenic Sources, New York City, NYC

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Highly urbanized and industrialized cities across the globe have been known for a long time to be major anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gases (GHGs), yet there is still no consensus on an adequate methodology to monitor their ambient concentration. This work describes the initiation of a GHG monitoring program at Bronx Community College (BCC) of the City University of New York (CUNY) in Bronx, New York using a Picarro GHG monitor (Model g2301). Results show average atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) that are above 400 and 2.0 ppmv, respectively. Similar daily fluctuations, with peaks levels resulting from emissions likely occurring during morning rush hour, indicate that there are common sources for both gases. This monitoring system is replicable, sustainable and scalable and will make it possible to more quantifiably link emissions produced in New York City to their material sources. As more data is collected, reduction projections for GHG-producing materials will more accurately be associated to reduction projections for atmospheric CO2 and CH4 levels originating in New York City. In the process, empirical models on air exchange rates and convective boundary layer homogenization through turbulence could also be improved.


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