Cooperative water vapor isotope network
Water vapor is by far the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, and the changing distribution of water in the atmosphere has obvious and significant implications for water resources as climate changes. Limitations in our knowledge of the movement of water vapor and characteristics of clouds underpin major uncertainties in our ability to accurately evaluate and predicted changes in climate. Because water is so important in the climate system, knowledge of the isotopic composition of water vapor can build understanding of factors controlling the water and energy balance of the atmosphere, inform development of improved climate models, and guide new studies of clouds and the atmospheric hydrology. The Cooperative network seeks to provide continuous and almost real time high quality measurments of the hydrogen and oxygen isotopic composition of water vapour in distinct climate zones.
View Cooperative Water Vapor Isotope Stations in a larger map
The global monitoring network for isotopic composition of precipitation is in its infancy. An initiel set of sites are committed with three presently activice in some capacity. The stations use a mix of systems from Picarro Inc. and Los Gatos Research. The network data complements the precipition isotopic composition data collected by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the baseline trace gas measurments made by NOAA's Global Monitoring Division.
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