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Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Record from Flask Measurements at Lampedusa Island

graphics Graphics   data Data


Paolo Chamard, Luigi Ciattaglia, Alcide di Sarra, Francesco Monteleone
Via Anguillarese 301,
00060 S. Maria di Galeria
Rome, Italy

Period of Record

May 1992- December 2000


Lampedusa Station rests on a rocky seashore on the eastern tip of Lampedusa Island, located south of Sicily in the central Mediterranean Sea. Air samples at Lampedusa Station are collected each Friday in two pairs of 2-L glass flasks. Flasks are evacuated and then pressurized to 280-300 kPa with ambient air at the sampling site. Determinations of CO2 are made by using a Siemens Ultramat 5E nondispersive infrared gas analyzer. Water vapor is removed during the sampling process by means of a chemical trap (Magnesium Perchlorate). During the measurement, residual water vapor is removed by means of a cold trap at -70°C. From the inception of the monitoring program at Lampedusa Station, CO2-in-synthetic air calibration gases have been used. Values are relative to the dry air WMO mole fraction scale.

Map showing location of Lampedusa Island, Italy

Lampedusa Island
Mediterranean Sea rocky island
35°31' N, 12°37' E
45 m above MSL


On the basis of annual averages calculated from monthly averages, CO2 levels at Lampedusa Island have risen from 360.80 in 1993 to 371.27 in 2000. The data show an average trend of +1.5 ppmv/y. The record from Lampedusa Station exhibits a seasonal pattern with maximum values measured during late winter or spring and minimum values recorded during the northern summer. The average annual cycle has an amplitude of about 10 ppmv. In the period of investigation the annual growth rate varies between 0.5 and 4.0 ppmv/y, and the amplitude of the annual cycle between 7 and 11 ppmv.


  • Anav, A., L. Ciattaglia, A. Guerrini, and P. Chamard Joint CNR-ENEA laboratory for measuring of atmospheric trace gases with climatic impact: technical aspects of instrumentation, sampling and measurements, in Proceedings of the IV Workshop Italian Research on Antarctic Atmosphere, edited by M. Colacino, G. Giovanelli, L. Stefanutti, Vol. 35, 257-260, Compositori, Bologna, 1992.
  • Ciattaglia, L., P. Chamard, and A. Guerrini Monitoring of atmospheric trace gases with climatic impact in Italy, Ecophysiology and Genetics of Trees and Forests in a Changing Environment, Viterbo, Italy, 1993.
  • Ciattaglia, L., A. Guerrini, and P. Chamard Greenhouse gases measurements and monitoring in Italy, WMO Meeting of Experts on Carbon Dioxide Measurements, Roma, Italy, 1993.
  • Ciattaglia, L., and P. Chamard Atmospheric CO2 from flask measurements from Lampedusa island, in Trend 93: A Compendium of Data on Global Change, edited by T.A. Boden, D.P. Kaiser, R.J. Stepanski, F.W. Stoss, 165-168, ORNL/CDIAC-65. Oak Ridge, Tenn., USA 1994.
  • Ciattaglia, L., A. Guerrini, T. Colombo, R. Santaguida, and P. Chamard Behaviour of the atmospheric CO2 and methane concentration in 2 Italian Stations different type of biosphere: Mt. Cimone and Lampedusa, IUGG-IAMAS-MJS6, Boulder, USA, 1995.
  • Ciattaglia, L., P. Chamard, T. Colombo, and R. Santaguida Italian greenhouse gases programs in the Mediterranean region and in Antarctica, WMO Meeting of Experts on Carbon Dioxide Concentrations and Isotopic Measurement Techniques, Melbourne, Australia, 1997.
  • Chamard, P., L. Ciattaglia, A. di Sarra, P. Grigioni, F. Monteleone, and R. Sarao The ENEA Station for climate observations at Lampedusa, Conferenza Nazionale Energia e Ambiente, Roma, 1998.
  • Chamard, P., L. Ciattaglia, F. Monteleone, and A. di Sarra The station for climate observations at Lampedusa: greenhouse gas measurements, in Proceedings of the WMO CO2 Expert Meeting, WMO, in press, 2001.

CITE AS: Chamard, P., L. Ciattaglia, A. di Sarra, and F. Monteleone. 2001. Atmospheric CO2 record from flask measurements at Lampedusa Island, in "Trends: A Compendium of Data on Global Change", Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A.