Gas/flux measurements are done to study the composition of the atmosphere including physics processes in order to gain more insights on air quality, ecosystems and climate. Measurements include both long-term (years to decades) and short-term (hours to days) monitoring and can be done on a local, regional or global scale.
Atmospheric science focusses on precise measurements of gases, amongst them greenhouse gases. Air quality analysis and emission monitoring brings more insight on the degree of pollution in the air; globally or locally.
Soil science examines the composition of soil and the biological/physical/chemical processes that affect soil morphology. Plant science studies the sustainable production of high-quality crops, flowers and bio-based products.
Measuring fluxes of CO2, N2O, CH4 and H2O, together with ecosystem variables, provide understanding of the processes behind energy and greenhouse gas exchange between the ecosystems and the atmosphere. Isotopic measurements can be used to determine terrestrial sources and sinks of these greenhouse gases for improving predictive models and better understanding of the human contribution to global warming.
Water science focusses on the processes within the water cycle: evaporation from the earth and ocean surface to the atmosphere followed by cooling down and condensation into rain or snow. These physical processes result in isotopic fractionation, giving the water molecules in each stage a unique isotope signature. Since isotopic fractionation is temperature dependent, water isotope analysis not only helps researchers to estimate the age and origins of water, it also provides more information on global warming.
Sample sources include precipitation samples collected from rivers, lakes, soil (groundwater), porous layers of rock and the ocean, as well as ice cores and (atmospheric) water vapor.