Carbon Detectives

Listen in pop-out player

Richard Hollingham meets the scientists trying to track our carbon emissions.

International climate treaties are entirely based on national declarations of greenhouse-gas emissions. But there is at present no independent way of testing those declarations. National carbon accounts are carefully audited --- but so were the financial accounts of Greece, one expert notes, wryly.

On the other hand, once exhaust fumes have gone into the atmosphere, who knows where they go. Richard Hollingham meets the researchers who are trying to develop a network of tracking stations that can monitor greenhouse emissions, using a suite of chemical fingerprints. They have already shown that one key gas is on the increase, when national reports said it was being controlled. And although much of the expertise is in Britain, the UK government is dragging its heels some say, in supporting the network.

Producer: Roland Pease.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Wed 28 Jul 2010 21:00

Inside Science

BBC Inside Science

Adam Rutherford explores the research that is transforming our world.