#ICOScapes - Pallas Sammaltunturi

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Station location: On top of an Arctic hill in Muonio, Lapland, Finland 
Type: Atmospheric measurements
Greenhouse gases measured by ICOS: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrous oxide (N2O)

The ICOS Pallas Sammaltunturi station is situated about 200 km north from the Arctic Circle in Lapland, where the sun does not set in summer nor rises above the horizon in winter.

The station stands on an Arctic hill covered by Alpine tundra. The tree line starts at about 300 metres down from the top of the hill. However, the rise of the annual average temperature by 2 degrees Celsius has caused the tree line to advance upward.

At the site, scientists breathe the cleanest air in Europe. The Arctic regions are especially sensitive to the air pollutants and greenhouse gases that are contributing to climate change. In Sammaltunturi, 565 metres above the sea level, ICOS is observing clean northern air coming from the Norwegian Barents Sea and the Northern Atlantic to set up a basis for measurements. Occasionally, southern winds from more densely populated European areas reach the station, allowing it to estimate the amount of air pollutants and greenhouse gases being transported to the Arctic area.

ICOS Pallas Sammaltunturi station is part of the ICOS Atmosphere Network measuring the atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations in Europe. In Sammaltunturi, ICOS measures cover most important greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrous oxide (N2O), which are contributing to the increase in the global temperature of the Earth.