Wednesday, December 1

Started observing greenhouse gases at Skytree

Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO) at Tokyo Sky Tree (Sumida-ku, Tokyo), the tallest building in Japan2) And other greenhouse gases have begun to be observed, a research group such as the National Institute for Environmental Studies has recently announced. The institute says that it will be effective in accurately grasping and monitoring the actual state of greenhouse gas emissions.

This research group consists of researchers from the National Institute for Environmental Studies, the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute of the University of Tokyo, the Meteorological Research Institute, and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology[AIST]. In March of last year, the National Institute for Environmental Studies set up an atmospheric observation space at 250 meters from Skytree and installed observation equipment. CO so far2, Methane greenhouse gases, as well as carbon monoxide (CO) and CO2We also started observing the carbon isotope ratio and the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere.

National Institute for Environmental Studies CO at Skytree2, Methane, CO, and oxygen concentrations are being analyzed, and the collected atmosphere is brought back to the institute for CO.2Radiocarbon isotope ratio14CO2We also analyze such things. CO is not a greenhouse gas because it absorbs very little infrared radiation from the surface of the earth, but it affects the concentration of the gas.

According to the research group, CO2Is emitted from various parts of the city, but CO2CO by analyzing the radiocarbon isotope ratio at the same time as the concentration2It can be estimated whether the is from a plant or a burning fossil fuel. Also, by analyzing the oxygen concentration, it is possible to know whether the burned fuel is natural gas or oil.

Atmospheric observations of greenhouse gases and related substances in large cities have been conducted only in limited places in the world, such as Paris in France, Indianapolis in the United States, Los Angeles, and Yoyogi in Tokyo in Japan. In Yoyogi, an observation device is installed on the Tokai University Yoyogi Campus[Shibuya-ku, Tokyo]. Since November 2012, the National Defense Academy and AIST have been CO (between the atmosphere and the surface of the earth).2The exchange amount will be changed by AIST from March 2016.2The concentration and oxygen concentration are observed respectively. In addition, the National Institute for Environmental Studies will be in the same location as CO from November 2016.2From February this year, we started observing the radiocarbon isotope ratio of methane and CO concentration.

In order to steadily advance global warming countermeasures, it is important for the research group to link atmospheric observations in these metropolitan areas with observations by greenhouse gas observation satellites such as “IBUKI” (GOSAT). The start of observation is CO in the Tokyo area, which is one of the largest cities in the world.2It is said that it will be effective in monitoring the actual state of emissions.

Tokyo Sky Tree is a radio tower with a height of 634 meters. Tobu Railway built it on the site of a freight marshalling yard in Sumida-ku, Tokyo, and opened on May 22, 2012. The operating company is Tobu Tower Sky Tree (Headquarters, Sumida-ku, Tokyo). There are two observatories, 350 meters and 450 meters, which are tourist attractions and are used by NHK and five commercial broadcasting key stations as radio towers in the metropolitan area.

Figure 1 Simulation example of CO2 emitted from cities and power plants by burning fossil fuels. CO2 concentration (ppm, a unit representing one millionth) in a layer at an altitude of 1 km from the surface of the earth. The darker the red, the higher the concentration.  (Provided by Shamil Maksyutoff, Material Cycle Modeling and Analysis Laboratory, National Institute for Environmental Studies)Figure 1 CO emitted from cities and power plants by burning fossil fuels2Simulation example. CO in the layer at an altitude of 1 km from the surface of the earth2Concentration (ppm, a unit representing one millionth), the darker the red, the higher the concentration. (Provided by Shamil Maksyutoff, Material Cycle Modeling and Analysis Laboratory, National Institute for Environmental Studies)
Image Photograph of the National Institute for Environmental Studies atmospheric observation space maintained at Tokyo Sky Tree (courtesy of the National Institute for Environmental Studies)Image Photograph of the National Institute for Environmental Studies atmospheric observation space maintained at Tokyo Sky Tree (courtesy of the National Institute for Environmental Studies)
Fig. 2 Outline of method for estimating CO2 emission source using carbon isotope and oxygen concentration (Provided by National Institute for Environmental Studies)Figure 2 CO using carbon isotopes and oxygen concentration2Outline of method for estimating emission source (Provided by National Institute for Environmental Studies)