Location: Northeast Greenland National Park, Greenland
Type: Ecosystem measurements
Site type: High Arctic wetland (fen)
Fluxes measured by ICOS: carbon dioxide (CO2)
The ICOS Zackenberg Fen station is located in the world's largest national park, which covers an area of 972 000 km2. The station is very far away from everything else – the nearest settlement is almost 500 km away.
Here remoteness, harsh climate and frequent visits from Arctic foxes, musk oxen and polar bears bring their own challenges to the greenhouse gas measurements.
The station’s location in the High Arctic makes it suitable for observing the release of greenhouse gases from permanently frozen soil, permafrost. ICOS measurements at Zackenberg Fen improve our understanding of climate change related challenges in tundra environments where permafrost is found.
Permafrost is an important carbon storage, as approximately 50 percent of the world’s soil organic carbon pool is located in the permafrost regions. However, the permafrost may become a source of greenhouse gases in the future due to the changing climate and warming temperatures.
ICOS Zackenberg Fen is part of ICOS Ecosystem Network, which is working towards understanding the processes behind the exchange of energy and greenhouse gases between the ecosystems and the atmosphere. In Zackenberg Fen, ICOS measures carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes, which is the primary greenhouse gas contributing to the increase in the global temperature of the Earth.