Chinese researchers aboard icebreaker use ABB analyzers to assess greenhouse gas

2014-09-01 - When Chinese researchers rode the country’s lone polar icebreaker to the Arctic and Antarctic recently, they took along ABB greenhouse gas analyzers to study concentrations of methane, carbon dioxide and water vapor.
China's lone polar icebreaker, the Snow Dragon, has ABB analyzers on board for Arctic, Antarctic expeditions
More than just basic research, scientists aboard the Xue Long, or “Snow Dragon,” were relying on ABB’s GGA-24EP analyzer to help them learn more about the relationship between atmospheric changes in polar areas and China’s own climate.

Researchers on the 2012 Arctic and 2013-2014 Antarctic voyages selected the greenhouse gas analyzer made by ABB Measurement Product’s Los Gatos Research (LGR) business because the device is rugged and easy to use, in addition to providing the most-accurate measurements.

These are all critical qualities in the polar environment where temperatures plunge below freezing and the Snow Dragon was buffeted by wind and waves.

“Accurate measurement of atmospheric gases that contribute to climate change is an imperative today,” said Doug Baer, president of ABB Measurement Products' LGR business in Mountain View, Calif. “Whether it's for objective quantification for cap and trade, carbon emissions, carbon sequestration, carbon tax and pricing or atmospheric studies, the need for effective measurement technology is more critical than ever.”

Extreme conditions

Conditions grew so extreme in January 2014 near Antarctica that the Snow Dragon’s twin-rotor helicopter was called on to rescue scientists whose Russian research vessel had become icebound.

China's lone polar icebreaker, the Snow Dragon, has ABB analyzers on board for Arctic, Antarctic expeditions
Outfitted with ABB technology, the Snow Dragon has reached significant milestones for China as it expands research and gathers information about navigation in Arctic sea lanes that are increasingly in focus due to the region's rich energy resources.

During its 85-day 2012 expedition, it became the first Chinese vessel to cross the Arctic Ocean before returning to port in Shanghai.

Analyzers have been to the Arctic before

But this wasn’t the first trip to the Arctic for an ABB greenhouse gas analyzer, however.

On a previous expedition headed by Swedish researchers, scientists relied on LGR equipment to accurately document seasonal rises in methane concentrations each autumn.

Los Gatos Research was acquired by ABB in 2013 and is part of their Measurement Products. ABB Measurement Products is committed making measurement easy for its customers - even those working at both poles.