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Jouni Heiskanen
,
Christian Brümmer
,
Nina Buchmann
,
Carlo Calfapietra
,
Huilin Chen
,
Bert Gielen
,
Thanos Gkritzalis
,
Samuel Hammer
,
Susan Hartman
,
Mathias Herbst
,
Ivan A. Janssens
,
Armin Jordan
,
Eija Juurola
,
Ute Karstens
,
Ville Kasurinen
,
Bart Kruijt
,
Harry Lankreijer
,
Ingeborg Levin
,
Maj-Lena Linderson
,
Denis Loustau
,
Lutz Merbold
,
Cathrine Lund Myhre
,
Dario Papale
,
Marian Pavelka
,
Kim Pilegaard
,
Michel Ramonet
,
Corinna Rebmann
,
Janne Rinne
,
Léonard Rivier
,
Elena Saltikoff
,
Richard Sanders
,
Martin Steinbacher
,
Tobias Steinhoff
,
Andrew Watson
,
Alex T. Vermeulen
,
Timo Vesala
,
Gabriela Vítková
, and
Werner Kutsch

Abstract

Since 1750, land-use change and fossil fuel combustion has led to a 46% increase in the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, causing global warming with substantial societal consequences. The Paris Agreement aims to limit global temperature increases to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels. Increasing levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), in the atmosphere are the primary cause of climate change. Approximately half of the carbon emissions to the atmosphere are sequestered by ocean and land sinks, leading to ocean acidification but also slowing the rate of global warming. However, there are significant uncertainties in the future global warming scenarios due to uncertainties in the size, nature, and stability of these sinks. Quantifying and monitoring the size and timing of natural sinks and the impact of climate change on ecosystems are important information to guide policy-makers’ decisions and strategies on reductions in emissions. Continuous, long-term observations are required to quantify GHG emissions, sinks, and their impacts on Earth systems. The Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) was designed as the European in situ observation and information system to support science and society in their efforts to mitigate climate change. It provides standardized and open data currently from over 140 measurement stations across 12 European countries. The stations observe GHG concentrations in the atmosphere and carbon and GHG fluxes between the atmosphere, land surface, and the oceans. This article describes how ICOS fulfills its mission to harmonize these observations, ensure the related long-term financial commitments, provide easy access to well-documented and reproducible high-quality data and related protocols and tools for scientific studies, and deliver information and GHG-related products to stakeholders in society and policy.

Open access
Dennis Baldocchi
,
Eva Falge
,
Lianhong Gu
,
Richard Olson
,
David Hollinger
,
Steve Running
,
Peter Anthoni
,
Ch. Bernhofer
,
Kenneth Davis
,
Robert Evans
,
Jose Fuentes
,
Allen Goldstein
,
Gabriel Katul
,
Beverly Law
,
Xuhui Lee
,
Yadvinder Malhi
,
Tilden Meyers
,
William Munger
,
Walt Oechel
,
K. T. Paw U
,
Kim Pilegaard
,
H. P. Schmid
,
Riccardo Valentini
,
Shashi Verma
,
Timo Vesala
,
Kell Wilson
, and
Steve Wofsy

FLUXNET is a global network of micrometeorological flux measurement sites that measure the exchanges of carbon dioxide, water vapor, and energy between the biosphere and atmosphere. At present over 140 sites are operating on a long-term and continuous basis. Vegetation under study includes temperate conifer and broadleaved (deciduous and evergreen) forests, tropical and boreal forests, crops, grasslands, chaparral, wetlands, and tundra. Sites exist on five continents and their latitudinal distribution ranges from 70°N to 30°S.

FLUXNET has several primary functions. First, it provides infrastructure for compiling, archiving, and distributing carbon, water, and energy flux measurement, and meteorological, plant, and soil data to the science community. (Data and site information are available online at the FLUXNET Web site, http://www-eosdis.ornl.gov/FLUXNET/.) Second, the project supports calibration and flux intercomparison activities. This activity ensures that data from the regional networks are intercomparable. And third, FLUXNET supports the synthesis, discussion, and communication of ideas and data by supporting project scientists, workshops, and visiting scientists. The overarching goal is to provide information for validating computations of net primary productivity, evaporation, and energy absorption that are being generated by sensors mounted on the NASA Terra satellite.

Data being compiled by FLUXNET are being used to quantify and compare magnitudes and dynamics of annual ecosystem carbon and water balances, to quantify the response of stand-scale carbon dioxide and water vapor flux densities to controlling biotic and abiotic factors, and to validate a hierarchy of soil–plant–atmosphere trace gas exchange models. Findings so far include 1) net CO2 exchange of temperate broadleaved forests increases by about 5.7 g C m−2 day−1 for each additional day that the growing season is extended; 2) the sensitivity of net ecosystem CO2 exchange to sunlight doubles if the sky is cloudy rather than clear; 3) the spectrum of CO2 flux density exhibits peaks at timescales of days, weeks, and years, and a spectral gap exists at the month timescale; 4) the optimal temperature of net CO2 exchange varies with mean summer temperature; and 5) stand age affects carbon dioxide and water vapor flux densities.

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