How ICOS’ atmospheric data helps Dr Aki Tsuruta to estimate global greenhouse gas emissions

12 October 2020
Aki Tsuruta overlooking forest from the ICOS measurement station in Pallas-Sammaltunturi.

Dr Aki Tsuruta is a senior research scientist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute located in the Dynamicum building in Helsinki. When Aki started working in 2011, the Integrated Carbon Observation System did not existed yet. Nowadays, ICOS has its headquarters on the ground floor of the same building. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am mainly working from home these days. In normal times, however, ICOS and I are practically neighbors”, she says. Aki Tsuruta’s field of expertise is greenhouse gas modelling. The models that she develops are designed to help researchers better understand the effects of climate change locally and globally. Both in her PhD and postdoctoral research job, Aki has benefitted from having free access to ICOS’ atmospheric data. “When we measure greenhouse gases we cannot directly measure large scale greenhouse gas fluxes (the flow of gases in and out of the atmosphere). In order to get a better understanding of these greenhouse gas emissions fluxes in regional and global scale, we need specific models that help us to understand the links between ground and atmosphere better. However, such models do not work properly without standardised data and that is exactly why ICOS is so important for my work.”

Read the full science success story here.