Ken Davis Measures Greenhouse Gas Emissions for World Economic Forum


Ken Davis’s research group is measuring greenhouse gas emissions from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The meeting started on 25 January and runs through Sunday, 29 January. Picarro, Inc., an instrument company that makes greenhouse gas sensors, was selected to be a technology innovation demonstration company at the WEF, and recruited Davis's research group as partners in the demonstration. Davis's group is a leader in developing the techniques needed to measure regional greenhouse gas fluxes using atmospheric budgets, and has a long history of working with Picarro instruments in their field experiments. The demonstration is monitoring CO2 emissions from the mountain village of Davos in near real time as the WEF takes place. In addition to the Picarro greenhouse gas sensors, the experiment relies heavily upon meteorological simulations using the Weather Research and Forecast realtime forecasting system with chemistry, a community model modified for experiments such as this by scientists in the Department of Meteorology. The investigators hope to detect changes in emissions that occur as a result of the WEF, showing the utility of the method for monitoring "urban metabolism." These methods could be used by cities to evaluate the efficacy of efforts to reduce urban greenhouse gas emissions. Picarro hopes that the demonstration will serve as a call to city leaders to adopt active monitoring of urban greenhouse gas emissions. Results of the study will be released this Friday, 27 January.

More information, including observations and models of CO2 concentrations and fluxes around Davos created by Picarro and Penn State scientists, can be seen at

This project is supported in part by the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment (PSIEE) and the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Davis is Professor of Meteorology in the Department of Meteorology, and is a faculty associate of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, both part of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Other Penn State researcher contributing to the project include Aijun Deng, Thomas Lauvaux, Natasha Miles and Scott Richardson, all members of the Department of Meteorology.

Davos News Release - January 27, 2012