Mobile Laboratory

What Studies using a Mobile Laboratory

Where Western U.S.

When 2014 on-going

How Mobile Lab-based instruments

Who Researchers from NOAA ESRL Chemical Sciences Division and the University of Colorado Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES).


CSD developed a mobile laboratory to study agricultural emissions in the summer of 2014 in conjunction with the NSF FRAPPÉ and NASA DISCOVER-AQ projects. Since then, the mobile laboratory has been used to study seasonal changes in agricultural emissions, emissions of methane from the oil and gas industry, on-road emissions, and ozone transport. Further projects include the Aliso Canyon Study 2016 and FAST-LVOS 2017.

Agricultural Emissions Studies

Nitrogen is used extensively in agriculture and its use is increasing. This project studies some of the consequences of fertilizer and feed nitrogen as it escapes to water and air. These emissions are relevant to climate forcing, air quality, and stratospheric ozone.

mobile van parked on dirt road

Photo: J. Peischl, NOAA / CIRES

The mobile laboratory makes measurements to quantify agricultural nitrogen and methane emissions in northeastern Colorado beginning the summer of 2014. Short-term, intensive field measurements will provide key constraints on inventory values of agricultural cropland and feedlot emission ratios, spatial distributions, daily variability, and seasonality.

The summer 2014 van payload measured:

  • NH3, N2O, NO, and NO2
  • CH4 and CO2
  • O3 and CO

Fact Sheet: Colorado Agricultural Emissions and Air Quality-Climate PDF file