ICOS, Integrated Carbon Observation System, announces that its first greenhouse gas measurement stations have been certified for standardized data production. ICOS data reveals the carbon emissions and sinks on European level, which is essential for predicting and mitigating climate change.
After more than 5 years of building the network and other preparation, the first seven stations now meet the high standards of a certified ICOS measurement station. The rest of the stations also have started this work, with the aim to have all ICOS stations standardized by the end of 2019. The standards fulfil and even exceed all international criteria, for example, the ones set by World Meteorological Organization and United Nations.
“Thanks to our standardized network of measurement stations, we gain much more precise knowledge of the carbon emissions and sinks in Europe: of the ones produced by us people, but also of the natural fluxes of the greenhouse gases,” says Dr Werner Kutsch, Director General at ICOS.
Natural carbon fluxes affect the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as much as human emissions, and may themselves be altered by climate change. In the long-term, it is important to be able to distinguish between natural and fossil fuel emissions to be able to direct the efforts in the right way.
“The greenhouse gas information gathered from all over the Europe is essential for national governments to improve their mitigation activities, and also for inter-governmental organisations to make informed decisions, when they seek ways to fulfil the requirements set by international agreements,” says Dr Kutsch. The Paris Agreement and the recent UN Carbon Observation Protocol negotiated in Bonn are examples of such agreements.
The stations receiving the certificate now are located in Belgium, France, Finland, Italy and Germany.
One of these certified stations belongs to the Perenne Observatory of the Environment (OPE), led by Andra's research and development department, and located in the Grand Est region (Meuse/Haute-Marne). "Since 2011 and the beginning of the ICOS project, we have continuously measured the atmospheric concentrations of CO2, CH4, N2O, as well as carbon exchanges over the forest," says Sébastien Conil, head of the station.
"France plans to label 4 atmospheric stations, 11 ecosystems monitoring stations, and a measurement station for air/sea CO2 emissions in a commercial vessel within 3 years" says Denis Loustau, coordinator of ICOS France. France is also responsible for the Atmospheric Thematic Center located in Saclay at the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences, where the atmospheric measurements of all ICOS stations are processed, as well as a technology watch on gas measurements. Greenhouse. It also participates in the Ecosystems thematic center, in particular by performing chemical analyzes and archiving soil and vegetation samples for the entire European network of Ecosystems stations.
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