Please excuse me if Earth Science is not the correct place to ask this question.
I read a New York Times article about increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere: "Carbon in Atmosphere Is Rising, Even as Emissions Stabilize" (26 June 2017)
According to the article, there are not enough CO2 monitoring stations for scientists to have a detailed understanding of where CO2 is being emitted/absorbed (e.g. by landmasses and oceans)
This got me thinking, would it be possible to design a dual-use product that integrates a CO2 sensor (e.g. a solar powered garden lamp) from which we could crowd source CO2 data for scientists? Perhaps a bit naive, since the sensors may not be accurate enough for scientific studies, and if it's a consumer product they would likely have a dense install base in metropolitan areas and less in the countryside/oceans.
But that isn't the biggest flaw in this idea. No, that came when I looked up CO2 sensor prices:
I was able to find some Arduino compatible sensors from a Google search for around 50USD at the low end, but looking at electronics distributors, a more reasonable price for a raw CO2 sensor seems to be at least 70USD.
- How can it be that CO2 sensors are so expensive compared to CO detectors?
- Is this due to the fact that carbon monoxide sensors use a detection method which cannot accurately determine the PPM of CO?