Public Release: 

Greenhouse gas research enters a new era

ICOS RI will produce actual maps on GHG fluxes for Europe

University of Helsinki

The global cycles of carbon and nitrogen comprise all spheres of our planet. Manifold interactions between human and environmental systems have caused imbalances and perturbations that resulted in increases of the major greenhouse gases (GHGs). Increased GHGs result in climate changes which influence the complex biogeochemical processes in terrestrial ecosystems, oceans and the atmosphere. Understanding these feedback mechanisms has become an important new and exciting branch of environmental science during the past three decades.

In parallel, a novel structure for GHG observations and research in Europe has been built up. The Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS RI) is a pan-European Research Infrastructure that comprises over 100 atmospheric, ecosystem and ocean observation stations distributed over 10 countries. ICOS RI provides long-term, coherent, precise and quality-controlled observation data on GHG to support research and to help curb and monitor emissions.

The conference in Brussels will be important as a forum where data providers and data users meet. Together with modellers ICOS RI wants to develop integrated data acquisition and model systems that will produce actual maps on GHG fluxes for Europe and the surrounding oceans. These maps can identify changes in biosphere but also be used for verification of inventories. Their development and refinement will be a big scientific challenge for the next decades.

The integrated information provided by ICOS will also help European policy makers to formulate their standpoint in international negotiations on GHG mitigation.

Media Event

Representatives of the media are cordially invited to a media event on Thursday 25 September at 3 p.m. in Academy Palace, Hertogsstraat 1, Brussels, Belgium 1000.

Discussed themes on the conference will be: How much of the fossil fuel emissions can be compensated by terrestrial ecosystems and oceans? Will these sinks be persistent? Are they influenced by nutrient availability? Which role do lakes and rivers play in the carbon cycle?

The participants present are:

  • Alex Vermeulen, Director of the ICOS Carbon Portal
  • Dr Ingeborg Levin, Institut für Umweltphysik, Heidelberg University, Germany
  • Dr Philippe Ciais, LSCE, France
  • Prof. Reinhart Ceulemans, University of Anwerp, Belgium
  • Prof. Beverly Law, Oregon State University, USA
  • Prof. Timo Vesala, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Dr Habil. Werner Kutsch, Director General, ICOS RI

###

Contact for media before the conference:

ICOS RI Headoffice
icos-admin@helsinki.fi

Eija Juurola
+358 50 415 4833

Contact persons for the media during the conference:

Prof. Timo Vesala
timo.vesala@helsinki.fi
+358 40 577 9008)

Eija Juurola
eija.juurola@helsinki.fi
+358 50 415 4833

Everybody is most welcome!

Links

ICOS Science Conference programme: http://www.icos-infrastructure.eu/scienceconference

ICOS Website: http://www.icos-ri.eu/

ICOS Stakeholder handbook (detailed information): http://www.icos-ri.eu/sites/icos-infrastructure-transition.eu/files/MASTER__ICOS_SHB_05032013_final.pdf

Links to the national websites of ICOS partners: http://www.icos-infrastructure.eu/node/4

ESFRI Roadmap: http://ec.europa.eu/research/infrastructures/index_en.cfm?pg=esfri-roadmap

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.