Articles | Volume 5, issue 12
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 5, 3109–3117, 2012

Special issue: Carbon dioxide, other greenhouse gases, and related measurement...

Atmos. Meas. Tech., 5, 3109–3117, 2012

Research article 21 Dec 2012

Research article | 21 Dec 2012

Long-term continuous atmospheric CO2 measurements at Baring Head, New Zealand

G. W. Brailsford1, B. B. Stephens1,2, A. J. Gomez3, K. Riedel1, S. E. Mikaloff Fletcher1, S. E. Nichol1, and M. R. Manning3 G. W. Brailsford et al.
  • 1National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Wellington, New Zealand
  • 2National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 3Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand

Abstract. We present descriptions of the in situ instrumentation, calibration procedures, intercomparison efforts, and data filtering methods used in a 39-yr record of continuous atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) observations made at Baring Head, New Zealand. Located on the southern coast of the North Island, Baring Head is exposed to extended periods of strong air flow from the south with minimal terrestrial influence resulting in low CO2 variability. The site is therefore well suited for sampling air masses that are representative of the Southern Ocean region. Instrumental precision is better than 0.015 ppm (1-σ) on 1-Hz values. Comparisons to over 600 co-located flask samples, as well as laboratory based flask and cylinder comparison exercises, suggest that over recent decades compatibility with respect to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) and World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) CO2 scales has been 0.3 ppm or better.