EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Measuring greenhouse gas fluxes – what methods do we have versus what methods do we need?

David Bastviken1, Julie Wilk1, Nguyen Thanh Duc1, Magnus Gålfalk1, Martin Karlson1, Tina Neset1, Tomasz Opach2, Alex Enrich Prast1, and Ingrid Sundgren1
David Bastviken et al.
  • 1Dept. of Thematic Studies - Environmental Change, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden (
  • 2Dept. of Geography, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway (

Appropriate methods to measure greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes are critical for our ability to detect fluxes, understand regulation, make adequate priorities for climate change mitigation efforts, and verify that these efforts are effective. Ideally, we need reliable, accessible, and affordable measurements at relevant scales. We surveyed present GHG flux measurement methods, identified from an analysis of >11000 scientific publications and a questionnaire to sector professionals and analysed method pros and cons versus needs for novel methodology. While existing methods are well-suited for addressing certain questions, this presentation presents fundamental limitations relative to GHG flux measurement needs for verifiable and transparent action to mitigate many types of emissions. Cost and non-academic accessibility are key aspects, along with fundamental measurement performance. These method limitations contribute to the difficulties in verifying GHG mitigation efforts for transparency and accountability under the Paris agreement. Resolving this mismatch between method capacity and societal needs is urgently needed for effective climate mitigation. This type of methodological mismatch is common but seems to get high priority in other knowledge domains. The obvious need to prioritize development of accurate diagnosis methods for effective treatments in healthcare is one example. This presentation provides guidance regarding the need to prioritize the development of novel GHG flux measurement methods.

How to cite: Bastviken, D., Wilk, J., Duc, N. T., Gålfalk, M., Karlson, M., Neset, T., Opach, T., Enrich Prast, A., and Sundgren, I.: Measuring greenhouse gas fluxes – what methods do we have versus what methods do we need?, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6468,, 2022.