Earth System Research Laboratory Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Gases Group Continuous Insitu Measurements of CO2, CH4, and CO at Global Background Sites, 1973-Present

ESRL GMD CCGG Observatory Measurements

browse graphicBarrow, Alaska Baseline Observatory
The Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network for the Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Gases (CCGG) Group is part of NOAA'S Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) in Boulder, CO. The Reference Network measures the atmospheric distribution and trends of the three main long-term drivers of climate change, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as carbon monoxide (CO) which is an important indicator of air pollution. The Reference Network measurement program includes continuous in-situ measurements at 4 baseline observatories (global background sites) and 8 tall towers, as well as flask-air samples collected by volunteers at over 50 additional regional background sites and from small aircraft. The air samples are returned to ESRL for analysis where measurements of about 55 trace gases are done. NOAA's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network maintains the World Meteorological Organization international calibration scales for CO2, CH4, CO, N2O, and SF6 in air. The measurements of the Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network serve as a comparison with measurements made by many other international laboratories, and with regional studies. They are widely used in studies inferring space-time patterns of emissions and removals of greenhouse gases that are optimally consistent with the atmospheric observations. They serve as an early warning for climate "surprises". The measurements are also helpful for the ongoing evaluation of remote sensing technologies.

Observatory Measurements: NOAA/ESRL/GMD operates four staffed atmospheric baseline observatories from which numerous measurements of greenhouse gases are conducted. These baseline observatories, also known as global background sites, are located in Barrow, Alaska; Mauna Loa, Hawaii; American Samoa; and South Pole, Antarctica. The measured data are baseline levels, trends, and causes of variability of atmospheric gases that have the potential to affect global climate. These observatories were established in order to provide a sampling of the most remote air on the planet so that the true "background atmosphere" could be monitored. GMD first began continuous in-situ measurements of CO2 at these observatories in 1973, and added CH4 and CO measurements in the 1980's. The ongoing data set is contingent upon the baseline observatories that are still in use going forward.

A subset of Observatory Measurements for only carbon dioxide (CO2) taken from Observatories is archived separately with digital object identifiers (DOIs) for each of the four observation stations listed above. The observations run from 1973 through the end of 2016. The main portion of this agreement is for the enhanced "version" of the more encompassing dataset for all of the different types of observation platforms and gases.

Through the Big Earth Data Initiative (BEDI), ESRL/GMD has taken their data collection and converted files into NetCDF-4, a self-describing format.
  • Cite this dataset when used as a source: E. Dlugokencky, K. Thoning, A. Crotwell, P. Novelli, and NOAA ESRL (2017): Earth System Research Laboratory Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Gases Group Continuous Insitu Measurements of CO2, CH4, and CO at Global Background Sites, 1973-Present, Version 1. [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. DOI: 10.7289/V5HD7SX5 [access date].
Download Data
Distribution Formats
  • netCDF-4
    • File Compression: Gzip
Distributor Customer Engagement Branch
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
1-828-271-4800
ncei.orders@noaa.gov
Dataset Point of Contact Mund, John
Developer
DOC/NOAA/ESRL/GMD > Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
(303) 497-5472
john.mund@noaa.gov
Dataset Point of Contact Customer Engagement Branch
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
1-828-271-4800
ncei.orders@noaa.gov
Time Period 1973-01-01 to Present
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
N: 90.0
S: -90.0
E: 180.0
W: -180.0
Spatial Coverage Map
General Documentation
Associated Resources
Publication Dates
  • publication: 2017-10
  • creation: 1973-01-01
Edition Version 1
Data Presentation Form Digital table - digital representation of facts or figures systematically displayed, especially in columns
Dataset Progress Status Ongoing - data is continually being updated
Data Update Frequency Annually
Purpose The carefully calibrated and documented measurements of the Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network serve as a comparison with measurements made by many other international laboratories, and with regional studies. They are widely used in studies inferring space-time patterns of emissions and removals of greenhouse gases that are optimally consistent with the atmospheric observations. The calibrated observations are also indispensable for the ongoing evaluation of remote sensing technologies.
Dataset Citation
  • Cite this dataset when used as a source: E. Dlugokencky, K. Thoning, A. Crotwell, P. Novelli, and NOAA ESRL (2017): Earth System Research Laboratory Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Gases Group Continuous Insitu Measurements of CO2, CH4, and CO at Global Background Sites, 1973-Present, Version 1. [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. DOI: 10.7289/V5HD7SX5 [access date].
Cited Authors
  • Mund, John
    DOC/NOAA/ESRL/GMD > Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Thoning, Kirk
    DOC/NOAA/ESRL/GMD > Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Tans, Pieter
    DOC/NOAA/ESRL/GMD > Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Dlugokencky, Ed
    DOC/NOAA/ESRL/GMD > Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Crotwell, A
    DOC/NOAA/ESRL/GMD > Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Novelli, J.
    DOC/NOAA/ESRL/GMD > Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/ESRL/GMD > Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Originators
  • DOC/NOAA/ESRL/GMD > Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Collaborators
  • Mund, John
    DOC/NOAA/ESRL/GMD > Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Thoning, Kirk
    DOC/NOAA/ESRL/GMD > Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Tans, Pieter
    DOC/NOAA/ESRL/GMD > Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Dlugokencky, Ed
    DOC/NOAA/ESRL/GMD > Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Crotwell, A
    DOC/NOAA/ESRL/GMD > Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Novelli, J.
    DOC/NOAA/ESRL/GMD > Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Publishers
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Theme keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science Keywords
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Chemistry > Carbon And Hydrocarbon Compounds > Carbon Dioxide
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Chemistry > Carbon And Hydrocarbon Compounds > Methane
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Chemistry > Carbon And Hydrocarbon Compounds > Carbon Monoxide
Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Essential Climate Variables (ECVs)
  • Atmospheric - Composition - Carbon Dioxide, Methane And Other Greenhouse Gases (including N2o, Cfcs, Hcfcs, Hfcs, Sf6 And Pfcs)
Keyword Thesaurus Title
  • Data Sets
  • Biogeochemical Cycles
  • Biogeochemical Processes
  • Biogeochemical Modeling
  • Troposphere Composition
  • Troposphere Chemistry
Data Center keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/ESRL/GMD > Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Platform keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Platform Keywords
  • AIR MONITORING STATIONS/NETWORKS
  • ESRL STATIONS > NOAA Earth Science Research Laboratory Stations
Instrument keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Instrument Keywords
  • In Situ/Laboratory Instruments
Place keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • Continent > North America > United States Of America > Alaska
  • Continent > North America > United States Of America > Hawaii
  • Ocean > Pacific Ocean > Central Pacific Ocean > American Samoa
  • Continent > Antarctica
Project keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Project Keywords
  • ESRL > Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA)
Data Resolution keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Horizontal Data Resolution Keywords
  • Point Resolution
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Vertical Data Resolution Keywords
  • Point Resolution
Stratum keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • Vertical Location > Land Surface
Use Constraints
  • Cite this dataset when used as a source: E. Dlugokencky, K. Thoning, A. Crotwell, P. Novelli, and NOAA ESRL (2017): Earth System Research Laboratory Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Gases Group Continuous Insitu Measurements of CO2, CH4, and CO at Global Background Sites, 1973-Present, Version 1. [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. DOI: 10.7289/V5HD7SX5 [access date].
  • The information contained herein is provided as a public service, with the understanding that the NOAA/ESRL Global Monitoring Divison makes no warranties, either expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the information.
  • Use liability: NOAA and NCEI cannot provide any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Users assume responsibility to determine the usability of these data. The user is responsible for the results of any application of this data for other than its intended purpose.
Access Constraints
  • Distribution liability: NOAA and NCEI make no warranty, expressed or implied, regarding these data, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA and NCEI cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data. If appropriate, NCEI can only certify that the data it distributes are an authentic copy of the records that were accepted for inclusion in the NCEI archives.
Fees
  • In most cases, electronic downloads of the data are free, however fees may apply for data certifications, copies of analog materials, and data distribution on physical media.
Lineage information for: dataset
Lineage Statement Raw data are transferred from station computers back to NOAA/ESRL in Boulder, CO. Known corrections to the data are applied. Once data are analyzed the data are compiled into standard NetCDF files at ESRL/GMD and are archived at the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).
Processor
  • DOC/NOAA/ESRL/GMD > Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Processing Steps
  • Quality assurance checks on the raw data.
    Rationale: To take raw observations of the "background atmosphere" to obtain baseline levels, trends, and causes of variability of atmospheric gases that have the potential to affect global climate.
Processing Environment The processing environment is a custom software suite on a Linux platform.
Source Datasets
  • Earth System Research Laboratory Carbon Cycle and Greenhouse Gases Group Continuous Insitu Measurements of CO2, CH4, and CO at Global Background Sites, 1973-Present
    Lineage information for: repository
    Processing Steps
    • 2015-04-22T00:00:00 - NOAA created the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) by merging NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), and National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), including the National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC), per the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235. NCEI launched publicly on April 22, 2015.
    Last Modified: 2018-05-25
    For questions about the information on this page, please email: ncei.orders@noaa.gov