Thirteen new stations receive certification ­– ICOS celebrates more than 100 labelled stations in Europe

19 May 2022
Picture of the Lanzhot station in a green forest

After passing a rigorous quality assurance process, 13 new measurement stations across Europe have received the status of an ICOS labelled station. The newly certified stations, representing all three ICOS domains, are located in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, the UK, and Sweden. One of the stations, The Atmosphere Station Nord, received a conditional label in 2021, but due to its remote location in Greenland, it was not possible to verify the label until now.

After the 13 new labels, altogether 104 out of the 149 ICOS stations have been standardised for greenhouse gas measurements.

Station labelling is one of the key ways ICOS keeps the quality of its data high and ensures its usability in climate research. To receive the label of a standardised greenhouse gas measurement station, all ICOS stations have to pass a demanding standardisation and quality control programme. Data from those stations are also regularly monitored to maintain the best possible quality.

Unique data from floodplain forests to help climate scientists globally

The Lanžhot Ecosystem station in the Czech Republic is one of the 13 stations receiving the ICOS label this summer. The station is part of the ICOS Ecosystem network which collects data to help understand the processes behind the exchange of energy and greenhouse gases between the ecosystems and the atmosphere.

What makes Lanžhot unique is its location in a lowland floodplain forest – a forest that is in kind of a transition between wet and dry environments. As is the case often with floodplain forests, the water flow is managed by people, which can change the behaviour of the whole forest.

”Our study site is important for ICOS measurements because of the artificial hydrological regime,” says Natalia Kowalska, lead scientist (PI) of the station. “This allows us to create assumptions on how floodplain ecosystems can react to climate change. Those assumptions can then be applicable in similar forest types globally.”

In Lanžhot, ICOS measurements cover most of the important greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrious oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) which are the main greenhouse gases contributing to the enhanced greenhouse effect.

Watch what Natalia Kowalska, the PI of the Lanžhot station, has to say about its scientific significance: 

Stations receiving the ICOS label on 18 May, 2022

Class 2 Atmosphere Station Schauinsland (SSL) Country: Germany; Responsible institution: Umweltbundesamt (UBA); Station PI: Frank Meinhardt.

Class 2 Atmosphere Station Ridge Hill tower (RGL)  Country: United Kingdom; Responsible institution: University of Bristol; Station PI: Joseph Pitt.

Class 2 Atmosphere Station Nord (SNO) Country: Denmark (Greenland); Responsible institution: Aarhus University; Station PI: Lise Lotte Sørensen.

Class 1 Ecosystem Station Hesse (FR-Hes) Country: France; Responsible institution: The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE); Station PI: Matthias Cuntz.

Class 1 Ecosystem Station Lanžhot (CZ-Lnz) Country: Czech Republic; Responsible institution: CzechGlobe – Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences; Station PI: Natalia Kowalska.

Class 2 Ecosystem Station Abisko-Stordalen Palsa Bog (SE-Sto) Country: Sweden; Responsible institution: Swedish Polar Research Secretariat; Station PI: Erik Lundin.

Class 2 Ecosystem Station Bily Kriz forest (CZ-BK1) Country: Czech Republic; Responsible institution: CzechGlobe – Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences; Station PI: Ladislav Šigut.

Associated Ecosystem Station Hartheim (DE-Har) Country: Germany; Responsible institution: University of Freiburg; Station PI: Andreas Christen.

Associated Ecosystem Station Mooseurach (DE-Msr) Country: Germany; Responsible institution: Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences (HSWT); Station PI: Matthias Drösler.

Associated Ecosystem Station Nivolet (IT-Niv) Country: Italy; Responsible institution: National Research Council of Italy (CNR) – Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources (IGG); Station PI: Antonello Provenzale.

Associated Ecosystem Station Wustebach (DE-RuW) Country: Germany; Responsible institution: Research Centre Jülich (FZJ); Station PI: Marius Schmidt.

Class 1 Ocean Station Atlantic Sail (DE-SOOP Atlantic Sail) Country: Germany; Responsible institution: GEOMAR - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel; Station PI: Tobias Steinhoff.

Class 2 Ocean Station IT-FOS-W1M3A (IT-W1M) Country: Italy; Responsible institution: National Research Council of Italy (CNR) – Institute for the Study of Anthropic Impact and Sustainability in the Marine Environment (IAS); Station PI: Roberto Bozzano.