Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the earth's atmosphere is considered a trace gas and also a greenhouse gas. Levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are increasing due to anthropogenic activity. An automated flask sampling system is used to collect small atmospheric samples (1L) in a glass flask from supply aircraft operating between Christchurch and McMurdo Sound (since the 96-97 season). The use of different aircrafts offers the ability to measure the vertical distribution of carbon monoxide and the isotopic ratios within the troposphere and stratosphere along a latitudinal transect.
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Ferretti, D.G., Low, D.C., Martin, R.J. and Brailsford, G.W. 2000. A new Gas chromatograph-isotope ratio mass spectrometry technique for high precision, N2O free analysis of δ13C and δ18O in atmospheric CO2 from small air samples. Journal of Geophysical Research 105: 6709-6718.
Smith, A.M., Petrenko, V.V., Hua, Q., Southon, J., Brailsford, G. 2007. The effect of N2O catalyst and means of water vapor removal on the graphitization of small CO2 samples. Radiocarbon 49 (2): 245-254.