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21GRD04 isoMET


21GRD04 isoMET

Project Summary


Atmospheric observations provide a reality check on the true efficacy of climate change mitigation policy. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) with multiple complex sources and stable isotope ratios provide a fingerprint needed to verify emissions by source type. This project seeks to improve -

  1. Ambient air monitoring capabilities
  2. The quality of source signature information
  3. The modelling information necessary to direct the measurement strategy and make top-down emissions estimates.

Need for the project

The Paris Agreement of November 2016 requires governments to pursue efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 °C. This climate agreement includes an Enhanced Transparency Framework, to track countries’ progress towards achieving their individual targets (i.e., the Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs), along with a 5-yearly “Global Stocktake”. Progress will ultimately be measured by comparing national reporting of GHG fluxes against independent scientific estimates. This project develops new measurement science that will promote countries’ ability to carry out this evaluation. The WMO’s Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update explains how close the Earth already is to reaching the 1.5 °C increase.

According to this report five of the global average temperature datasets placed 2020 as one of the three warmest years on record with the global average temperature of 1.2 °C above preindustrial temperatures (World Meteorological Organization, 2021).  The ultimate temperature rise that the Earth will witness over the 21st century is strongly related to cumulative GHG emissions (Allen et al., 2009; Millar et al., 2017). The challenge is therefore significant – net emissions of GHGs must reach zero as quickly as possible if temperatures are to stay below the 1.5 °C increase this century. Governments have declared a state of emergency. On a European level, goals for emission reduction have been set for the years 2020, 2030, and 2040, with a reduction of 40 % for the year 2030. In 2050, the EU wants to be “climate neutral”. Even if the global net CO2 emission reduction targets were to be met, however, the rising radiative forcing due to the positive trend in atmospheric CH4 could derail climate policy ambitions (Nisbet et al., 2019).



IsoMET at M9


The isoMET project partners will come together to discuss current progress and work towards M18 at PTB in Braunschweig, Germany, June 2023.

A successful Kick Off meeting for isoMET


A successful Kick Off meeting for the isoMET Project was held by PTB on the 22nd November. Due to the current pandemic situation, the meeting was held online with all project partners in attendance.

Javis Nwaboh and Volker Ebert of PTB welcomed all the partners to the first meeting of this new project. Tim Arnold (NPL) provided an overview of the project overall, and Javis and Anas Emad (PTB) provided a summary of what is required under WP1.

Joachim Mohn (EMPA) took the partners through an overview of WP2, and Tim presented on WP3. Mehr Fatima and Thomas Hausmaninger (VTT) provided an overview of WP4.

EURAMET provided the presentation Guidance on the Metrology Partnership’s impact generation and reporting to the partners, and this was followed by Javis, Volker and Tim providing everyone with an overview for all partners requirements towards WP5.




  • Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt - Coordintor
  • Turkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Arastirma Kurumu
  • Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy
  • Stockholms Universitet
  • Ruprecht-Karls-Universitaet Heidelberg
  • Universiteit Utrecht
  • Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines
  • Eidgenoessische Materialpruefungs- und Forschungsanstalt
  • National Physical Laboratory
  • Royal Holloway and Bedford New College
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Glasgow



Project Structure

Work packages

WP1: Developing a harmonised in situ CH4 isotope dataset of ambient air in Europe

The aim of this work package is to develop a harmonised in situ CH4 isotope dataset of ambient air in Europe to resolve compatibility issues of measurements of δ13C or δ2H in CH4 across multiple laboratories. This harmonisation will include a) improved methodologies and procedures to improve the comparability between independent OIRS based in situ analyses of ambient air CH4 for δ13C and δ2H and the traceability to the VPDB and VSMOW scales and b) improved validation of IRMS and OIRS methodologies across Europe through interlaboratory comparisons.

WP2: A sustainable metrological infrastructure for a dataset for CH4 isotope source signature measurements in Europe

The aim of this work package is first to develop a sustainable metrological infrastructure for a dataset for δ13C(CH4) and δ2H(CH4)-source measurements in Europe, and second, to evaluate the potential for source apportionment of rare doubly-substituted 13CH3D and 12CH2D2 isotopologues analysis in selected campaigns.

WP3: Atmospheric transport modelling to direct the measurement strategy for optimal emissions estimation and demonstration of emissions estimates from new datasets

This work package aims to use atmospheric chemistry transport modelling to inform WP1 and WP2, creating estimates of the minimum measurement requirements for deployed instruments. The full dataset of measurements across Europe from WP1 and WP2 will be used in atmospheric transport models and inverse statistical methods, to enable a first demonstration of estimates of emissions from the new datasets.

WP4: Creating impact

The aim of this work package is to ensure that the research outputs are communicated to the end-users and stakeholders, maximising the impact and uptake. Activities in this work package will also engage with stakeholders to ensure that the direction of this project will meet their needs.

WP5: Management and coordination

The project will be managed by the coordinator from PTB, who will be supported by the project management board (PMB) consisting of the coordinator and the work package leaders.

The members of the PMB will guide the project, attend the project meetings, organise the progress meetings and call additional meetings if needed to ensure the overall project’s success.


Members Area

Coming soon!


Contact information

Contact the project coordinator, Volker Ebert , PTB – volker (dot) ebert (at) ptb (dot) de

Euramet-Logo.pngThis 21GRD04 isoMET project has received funding from the EMPIR programme co-financed by the Participating States and from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

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