Zackenberg in Greenland. Photo: DTU

Close monitoring of climate changes

Thursday 26 Oct 17

Contact

Kim Pilegaard
Professor
DTU Environment
+45 45 25 21 58
Reliable and standardized data are necessary in the work to meet the challenges presented by global warming.

A new European network of more than 100 measurement stations monitor the development in greenhouse gases and make these data publicly available. The network is gathered in the Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS, see box), and the stations measure the development in the quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, as well as the exchange of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere, land, and sea. Data that are of great importance in order to observe the development in climate changes.

“The extensive work which has been done under the auspices of the EU in the past few years to quality assure and standardize data from the new ICOS measurement stations is an important step towards having comparable and reliable data on greenhouse gases from all over Europe. We’ve not previously had such data, which has made it difficult to monitor the development in greenhouse gases over a large geographic area,” says Professor Kim Pilegaard, DTU Environment, project manager and National Focal Point for ICOS Denmark.

"We’ll use the photographs to create focus on the climate changes that we observe and monitor using, among other instruments, data from the measuring stations."
Professor Kim Pilegaard, DTU Environment

Four of the ICOS measurement stations are located in Denmark, in very different regions of the country. This is done to have measurements from the different ecosystems that are typical in these latitudes. There is a measuring station in an agricultural area, a forest, and an arctic wetland area in Greenland. In addition, greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are measured from a station at the north-easternmost corner of Greenland. More stations are planned subsequently to be connected to the network.

Focus on climate challenges
A photographer is currently visiting a number of the measurement stations, including the Danish Zackenberg station in Greenland.

“We’ll use the photographs to create focus on the climate changes that we observe and monitor using, among other instruments, data from the measuring stations”, says Kim Pilegaard. The photographs have been taken by the Finnish nature and wildlife photographer Konsta Punkka.

When the photographing of a measurement station from each of the 12 member states: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK has been completed, selected photographs will be shown in an exhibition that will tour all these countries from autumn 2018.


ICOS Denmark

ICOS Denmark is a consortium of four partners. DTU heads the consortium, which also includes Aarhus University, Roskilde University, and University of Copenhagen.

The ICOS measurement stations measure the exchange of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere and ecosystems on land and in the sea, as well as measurements of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. After being submitted to careful quality control, all data from the measurements are made freely available to everyone, for example researchers, public institutions, media, and all other interested parties.

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25 NOVEMBER 2017