Greenhouse Gas Sensors Tap California Air

| Thu Oct. 25, 2007 7:27 PM EDT

315428461_54649b3aa7_m.jpg Sutro Tower in San Francisco now hosts the first of California's regional greenhouse-gas detectors. Nature reports that another sensor is in place atop Richland Tower near Sacramento, part of the California Greenhouse Gas Emissions Project, a collaboration between state and federal agencies and universities. The sensors are the first of 10 that will take measurements twice daily. The project, born at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, hopes to establish whether California is reaching its goal of reducing atmospheric greenhouse gases—at present, running about 550 million tons a year—by cutting state emissions. The data will also be used to improve estimates of GHG emissions at the national scale in support of the North American Carbon Program.

The gears are grinding. Slowly. Let's hope momentum develops faster than disaster.

Julia Whitty is Mother Jones' environmental correspondent. You can read from her new book, The Fragile Edge, and other writings, here.