Sessions announced for ICOS Science Conference 2024

On 6th November 2023, we launched the call for sessions proposals. Now that the valued contributions from the ICOS community have arrived, and the Programme Committee has deliberated, we are pleased to share the sessions for ICOS Science Conference 2024! 

The sessions reflect ICOS's three domains - Atmosphere, Ecosystem and Ocean - and incorporate broader themes such as climate services, science communication and cooperation between Research Infrastructures.

Abstract submission is open until 8th April, 13:00 CET. Submit your abstract here. 

N.B. Session descriptions and convenors may be subject to change.

On this page:

1. Isotopes and other tracers for studies of methane sources and sinks


  • Sara Defratyka, University of Edinburgh (UoE), National Physical Laboratory (NPL)
  • Tim Arnold, National Physical Laboratory (NPL), University of Edinburgh (UoE)  
  • Camille Yver-Kwok, Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE-IPSL) CEA-CNRS-UVSQ Université Paris Saclay
  • Dave Lowry, Department of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL)
  • Martina Schmidt, Institute of Environmental Physics, Heidelberg University (UHEI)

Quick and significant reductions in methane emissions are crucial for effective limitation of global warming. Anthropogenic methane emissions originate from a large variety and number of sources including (but not limited to) oil and gas production, coal mining, fires, agriculture and waste. The attribution of atmospheric methane mixing ratio changes to anthropogenic or natural sources, and to source sectors, can be aided by the measurement and interpretation of isotope ratios (e.g., stable isotopes, radiocarbon) or of gaseous tracers that are correlated with sources or sinks of the target pollutant (e.g. ethane). Long term isotopic records from different locations already contribute the better partitioning of methane sources.

This session invites contributions involving the use of isotope ratios and other tracers in understanding the sources / sinks of methane to the atmosphere on various scales. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Advances in analytics for methane isotope ratios or tracers including developments in metrology, e.g. reference materials or methods, to improve sustainability of monitoring
  • Incorporation of isotope or trace gas measurements into models for improved understanding of the sources and/or sinks
  • Studies contributing data on methane isotope ratio source signatures or tracer/target species emission factors.


2. Exchange of reactive gases and aerosols between the land surface and the atmosphere in natural and managed ecosystems


  • Silvano Fares, National Research Council of Italy, Institute for Agriculture and Forestry Systems in the Mediterranean, Portici, Italy
  • Christian Brümmer, Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture, Braunschweig, Germany

The land surface-atmosphere exchange of reactive trace gases and aerosols plays a major role in atmospheric chemistry and its quantification is important for air quality assessment. The ICOS network offers the opportunity to complement common observations of greenhouse gases with flux measurements of reactive compounds such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), ozone, ammonia, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particles between plant ecosystems and the atmosphere. While some of these compounds are anthropogenically produced, many are biotic in origin and are emitted in-situ or produced from rapid photochemistry in the canopy. The plant canopy represents a dynamic and rapidly changing environment in which a myriad of biological, chemical and physical processes take place over very short time scales. Advanced techniques of flux measurements provide in-depth knowledge of net fluxes of these compounds above canopies, while additional in-canopy measurements enable a more detailed understanding of individual processes and reactions driving these fluxes. Advanced measurement techniques can support the parametrization of models for a mechanistic understanding of in-canopy dynamics of deposition and emission of these reactive gases.

This session encourages the submission of contributions based on in-situ measurements and/or modeling that improve our understanding of biosphere-atmosphere exchange of reactive gases and aerosols and in-canopy processes.


3. Cross-domain technological development: autonomous vehicles, sensor miniaturisation, low-cost sensors and labour-intense approaches


  • Meike Becker, University of Bergen
  • Richard Sanders, NORCE
  • Jean Sciare, Cyprus Institute, Cyprus 
  • Bert Gielen, University of Antwerpen, Belgium
  • Jean-Daniel Paris, LSCE, France

Large improvements in carbon cycle and GHG observations are necessary to give us a fit for purpose observing system capable of estimating in near real time state of the atmosphere, the fluxes of carbon between all relevant reservoirs and the climate impact on the state of terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Technological innovation will support of better decision making relevant to climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. The challenges comprise better technologies, improved network organisation and standardisation, more consistent data streams and accessibility to support and improve the related science and assessment related to the state and variability of the Earth System. 

Across domains there are trends to develop innovative autonomous platforms equipped with advanced sensors that are optimised in size and power consumption without loosing precision. In addition, networks of low cost sensors or approaches building on labour-intense observations can be used to fill gaps in future observational infrastructures. Standardisation and quality assurance/quality control as well as specific geospatial data bases will be crucial for all these innovative approaches. This session invites contributions aiming at technology improvements to close the gap between the current observing systems and their future needs.


4. Processes involved in the greenhouse gas cycle in terrestrial ecosystems


  • Manuel Acosta, Global Change Research Institute, CAS, the Czech Republic
  • Katerina Machacova,  Global Change Research Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences, the Czech Republic
  • Mari Pihlatie, Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Tiphaine Tallec,  Centre d’Etudes Spatiales de la BIOsphère, University of Toulouse, CNES/CNRS/INRAE/IRD/UT3 Paul Sabatier, France
  • Angelika Kübert, Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Annalea Lohila, Finnish Meteorological Institute and Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research, University of Helsinki, Finland

Terrestrial ecosystems play an important role in the exchange of greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), with the atmosphere. The assessment of GHGs emitted to and removed from the atmosphere ranks high on international political and scientific agendas. Last decades, significant advances in research of GHG fluxes from various terrestrial ecosystem components (soil, vegetation, woody tissue) have been made. However, there are still issues and shortcomings to be solved to improve our understanding of individual components in the ecosystem GHG exchange. The processes involved in the GHG cycle are sensitive to environmental conditions and can depend on the current ecosystem state, including the availability of substrates. Moreover, each ecosystem component flux presents heterogeneity and intra-seasonal variability that must be considered when interpreting the whole ecosystem fluxes. Therefore, a better understanding of these components and processes related to GHG exchange in the soil-vegetation-atmosphere continuum under different environmental conditions and various physiological processes is required.

This session aims to bring together scientists working on experimental and observatory studies of GHG (CO2, CH4 and N2O) fluxes from ecosystem components at terrestrial ecosystems with different climatic and hydrological ranges and scales applying chamber techniques.


5. Impact of climate extremes on GHG fluxes: understanding driving processes and responses across scales


  • Mana Gharun, University of Münster, 48149 Münster, Germany
  • Ana Bastos, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, 07745 Jena, Germany
  • Thanos Gkritzalis, Flanders Marine Institute, 8400 Oostende, Belgium

Climate is changing at an unprecedented rate, and the frequency, duration, and intensity of extreme weather events are expected to increase in the future. Extreme weather events such as extreme temperature, extreme moisture/precipitation conditions (atmospheric, soil drought, marine heatwaves), and heavy winds disrupt ecosystem functioning and might increase their susceptibility to subsequent disturbances. Processes that directly control ecosystem GHG fluxes, such as photosynthesis and respiration, fires, wind circulation, pest, phyto and zooplankton-induced mortality are all affected due to such extreme climatic conditions. However, driving processes of GHG fluxes and their sensitivity to extremes depend on ecosystem type and climatic regions. Quantifying these diverse responses to extremes and identifying their drivers is crucial to understand the mechanisms that control ecosystem resistance and resilience to climate change. Divergent projections in future scenarios from ecosystem models underscore large uncertainties related to the diversity of responses and pose a challenge for predicting fluxes and consequently quantify sinks and sources under future climate conditions.

The increasing density and diversity of ecosystem monitoring observations across various scales, from individual ecosystems to entire regions, and from sub-daily to several decades, provide opportunities to develop a mechanistic understanding about these processes and to identify gaps and development needs, in both modelling and observations. In this session, we welcome studies using observations, process-based models, or their integration to:

  • Evaluate ecological impacts of extreme events with a focus on CO2, CH4, and N2O fluxes.
  • Identify the link between extreme events and GHG fluxes with ecophysiological and biogeochemical underpinnings.
  • Analyze cascading effects and feedbacks across spatial and temporal scales.


6. Greenhouse gas fluxes at high latitudes and climate/human induced feedbacks


  • Anne Sofie Lansø, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Odile Crabeck, University of Liege, Belgium
  • Ann Eileen Lennert, University of Tromsø 
  • Xuefei Li, University of Helsinki

This session welcomes studies of greenhouse gas (GHG) dynamics in high-latitude ecosystems and climate-induced feedbacks as well as feedbacks from human pressures on ecosystem services affecting GHG processes and local climates. The focus will be on GHG flux processes and carbon (C) cycling in high latitude terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, atmosphere-ocean gas exchange, coastal biogeochemical cycles, and the lateral transport and transformation of C along the land-to-ocean aquatic continuum.

Contributions may include both process-scale studies as well as studies of the feedback of high-latitude ecosystems to the climate system caused by climate change and/or human impacts on the ability of ecosystems to take up or release GHGs. Such studies may also include the response of GHG cycles to extreme events, both in the present and in the future. Moreover, studies on wintertime GHG fluxes, which are underrepresented due to the desolate environment of the high-latitude region both on land and over sea ice, are welcomed. Process-based modelling studies, analyses based on observations, remote sensing, and machine learning techniques are also encouraged for this session.


7. Carbon Cycling along the Land Ocean Aquatic Continuum


  • Richard Sanders, NORCE
  • Holger Brix, Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Germany
  • Carolina Cantoni, National Research Council of Italy -  Institute of Marine Sciences (CNR-ISMAR), Italy
  • Yoana Voynova, Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Germany

The Land Ocean Aquatic continuum, consisting of rivers, estuaries and shallow coastal shelf seas together with adjacent wetlands, swamps and marshes is a key point in the global c cycle, transferring C from land to ocean but with the freshwater region generally serving as a source of CO2 to the atmosphere and the outermost saline region generally serving as a sink of CO2 from the atmosphere. Key questions include how this region will respond to climate change, the impact of past anthropogenic forcing on this general pattern of behaviour and the ways in which land management can be adjusted to minimize the GHG impact of these regions. A variety of new platforms and tools are allowing us to address such regions in ever greater detail including small uncrewed vehicles, isotopes and continual sampling sensors. This session welcomes contributions addressing key questions in this region, including ones around methane and nitrous oxide as well as CO2 and is particularly interested in contributions comparing different systems or combining modelling and in situ approaches.

8. Enhancing the ocean carbon sink: the science, verification, and governance of marine-based carbon dioxide removal (mCDR)


  • David Ho, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
  • Lester Kwiatkowski, LOCEAN/IPSL, Sorbonne Université, CNRS, IRDMNHN

To limit global warming to below 1.5 or 2°C this century, a significant reduction in anthropogenic CO2 emissions is needed, along with hundreds of gigatons of atmospheric carbon dioxide removal (CDR). Currently, the ocean absorbs about 25% of carbon emissions caused by humans, and several marine-based CDR (mCDR) options are proposed to enhance this oceanic uptake. However, the efficacy, efficiency, and potential side-effects of mCDR proposals like ocean fertilization, afforestation, alkalinity enhancement, direct ocean removal, and artificial mixing are still uncertain, with most insights based on model simulations rather than field trials. The potential for monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) of enhanced ocean carbon uptake through mCDR is highly uncertain, and the ethics and governance of mCDR are contentious. This session is open to physical and socio-political scientists, engineers, and policy practitioners interested in mCDR. We welcome submissions that provide diverse insights into the efficacy, feasibility, ethics, and governance of mCDR.

9. Combining data and models to improve estimates of regional to global GHG budgets and trends


  • Meike Becker, University of Bergen
  • Ana Bastos, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
  • Ingrid Luijkx, Wageningen University, the Netherlands

The Paris Agreement on Climate sets the international objective to keep climate warming well below two degrees. This extraordinary challenge requires a dramatic improvement of current scientific capabilities to estimate the budgets of greenhouse gases (GHG) at regional scale, their trends and fluxes between the different reservoirs on land, oceans and across the land-ocean interface, and how they link up to the global growth rates of the major GHGs. In this context, model-data integration is crucial to understand the key drivers and processes controlling their variations. 

We welcome contributions using a variety of approaches that combine observations and modelling of major GHGs (CO2, CH4, N2O), from data-driven upscaling, terrestrial and ocean biogeochemical modeling, and atmospheric inverse modeling. We encourage contributions linking regional to global budgets and covering different temporal scales (past over present to future) that provide new insights on processes influencing GHG budgets, variability and trends.

10. Remote sensing of greenhouse gases from ground and space: Their application for carbon cycle studies, satellite and model validation and building MVS capacity


  • Mahesh Kumar Sha, Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy
  • Rigel Kivi, Finnish Meteorological Institute 
  • Sindu Raj Parampil, Integrated Carbon Observation System

Remote sensing techniques are an important component in the global observation system of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Ground-based measurements and satellites provide column concentrations of GHGs from the surface of the earth to the top of the atmosphere. The Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) and the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change – Infrared Working Group (NDACC-IRWG) have been performing solar absorption measurements using high resolution Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometers which enable the retrieval of total and/or partial column concentrations of GHGs and other climate relevant gases. Portable low-resolution FTIR spectrometers, e.g. the EM27/SUN, used by the Collaborative Carbon Column Observing Network (COCCON), also provide high quality, total column data from globally distributed sites. These networks provide the reference data sets used for satellite validation and model studies. Satellites too are undergoing improvements in terms of both observational capabilities as well as reduced uncertainties of the derived products: Recent additions like TROPOMI, PRISMA, GHGSat, and OCO-3 complement earlier missions like GOSAT and OCO-2. The next-generation of planned missions like MicroCarb, CO2M, GOSAT-GW, MethaneSAT, and CarbonMapper are set to dramatically improve observational capabilities.
We invite submissions on new remote sensing techniques or sensors, innovative measurement approaches, innovative scientific applications; validation techniques for satellite and model data evaluation using FTIR observations, and contributions building up towards monitoring and verification support (MVS) capacity. 


11. Quantification of urban greenhouse gas emissions - from novel monitoring to source identification


  • Leena Järvi, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Andreas Christen, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • Claudio d’Onofrio, ICOS Carbon Portal

Urban areas are major contributor for the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the atmosphere. Understanding in detail the total emissions of urban GHGs, their temporal and spatial distributions is a key for reducing their emissions and finding optimal emissions reduction strategies. Besides anthropogenic emissions, biogenic components need to be considered to reduce uncertainties in emission estimations and providing information on carbon sequestration in urban vegetation and soil. Different approaches for the urban GHG balance and source apportionment exists varying from micrometeorological emission measurements and isotope analyses to urban scale modelling. Novel city-wide monitoring networks and measurement platforms such as mobile observations and ground-based remote sensing are emerging. GHG monitoring networks can be complemented with observations of co-emitted species such as CH4, NOx and aerosol particles. 
This session brings together the different methodologies used to examine and understand the urban greenhouse gas budgets, their emissions and sinks, and dependencies on different environmental factors at different scales. We welcome in this session contributions based on conceptual, experimental, observational, or modelling approaches, source apportionment in urban areas and related uncertainties, and studies on how the different observational and modelling methodologies can be used to support climate action plans in different cities.

12. Translating Scientific CO2 Emission Research into City Services


  • Michel Ramonet,  LSCE
  • Jinghui Lian, LSCE,
  • Hervé Utard,, France
  • Giulio Magi,, France

This session aims to converge diverse perspectives and insights from the scientific community and technology innovators. It delves into the crucial transition from theoretical knowledge on CO2 emissions to actionable and scalable services for cities. The discussion intends to gather expertise and research findings, exploring strategies and methodologies that bridge the gap between scientific exploration and practical implementation. We seek to unearth innovative approaches and successful case studies that exemplify how scientific insights have been translated into scalable services for cities.

13. In situ data for climate and other environmental services and policy support


  • Werner L Kutsch, ICOS ERIC
  • Sanna Sorvari Sundet, Natural Resources Institute Finland 
  • Theresia Bilola, ICOS ERIC
  • Matthew Saunders, Trinity College Dublin 

A common denominator in the multiple environmental crises we are facing is that societal solutions strongly depend on the transfer of scientific knowledge into political and private enterprise as well as society at large. Science has, more than ever, become a key factor for our common future: the scale of these challenges requires large amounts of data, provided by large scale infrastructures. While this important role of science has become clearly evident, these crisis-driven developments have also changed the science itself (towards more applied science) and this transition will change science policy and resource distribution both towards and within the scientific system.  

This session will explore the pathways from scientific observations to climate-derived and other environmental services. It welcomes insights on service co-design and service design labs. Examples of services could be: monitoring and verification of emission reduction as support of national inventories and NDCs, monitoring of Carbon Dioxide Removal activities, climate carbon feedback description, scenarios as part of national action plans and citizen science approaches supporting adaptation to climate change. 


14. Leveraging Direct Flux Measurements Beyond Academia for Real-World Applications


  • David Durden, CarbonDew/NEON/Battelle
  • Stefan Metzger, CarbonDew/U of Wisconsin/AtmoFacts 
  • Gyami Shrestha, USDA NIFA
  • Jesse Vance, Ebbcarbon/NCAR
  • George Burba, CarbonDew/LI-COR/Water for Food Global Institute

This collaborative session, organized by CarbonDew Community, with help from the NEON, US Department of Agriculture, Battelle, LI-COR, and Water for Food Global Institute, focuses on the latest developments, ideas, and working examples harnessing the transformative potential of direct flux measurements. 

While established flux networks (ICOS, NEON, AmeriFlux, AsiaFlux, OzFlux, etc.) have made very significant academic contributions, direct flux measurements are underutilized outside academia. By highlighting ICOS work and actively engaging European stakeholders, the session aims to bridge this gap, emphasizing the broader societal benefits of these advanced techniques and currently available data. 

The applications are diverse, from utilizing directly measured evapotranspiration for precise irrigation scheduling to employing GHG flux measurements for sustainable agriculture and environmental management. Secondary products derived from these measurements – such as water use efficiency, tower-derived GPP, and carbon credit verification – combined with remote sensing and modeling, offer additional opportunities for optimization and climate-friendly improvements. The session invites presentations on a broad range of related topics, from the above examples to socioeconomic evaluations of the resulting improvements.

Join us in brainstorming the untapped potential of the existing flux data and the future direct flux measurements, ensuring a more impactful and sustainable integration into real-world decision-making for immediate societal benefits.

15. Science communication and outreach to increase the impact of climate research


  • Karlina Ozolina ICOS ERIC
  • Maria Luhtaniemi ICOS ERIC
  • Manuel Acosta, ICOS Czech Republic/Czechglobe
  • Jutta Holst, ICOS Sweden/Lund University
  • Marc Delmotte, ICOS France/LSCE

As climate scientists are increasingly required to evaluate the impact of their research and disseminate their findings to wider community, the ability to communicate to different audiences is crucial. The aim of science communication is to highlight the values of science and scientific findings to non-specialist audiences outside of formal educational settings. This is essential to enhance awareness and understanding of science concepts, improve decision making and influence the behaviour of varying stakeholder groups.

This session invites presentations that showcase successful science communication from environmental, geophysical and social scientists, and communications professionals. Have you organised an outreach activity at your measurement station to educate the local community on the importance of climate research? Did you develop a game that explains carbon emissions in a fun and impactful way? Did you run a social media campaign that went viral?

The overarching aim of this session is to provide examples of tools and quick tips for climate scientists to communicate about their research with confidence and ease. By highlighting successful storytelling and outreach campaigns we hope to inspire and advance the effective communication of climate science.

16. Continuous Learning in a changing world - Teaching and learning novel tools & methods used for measurement techniques’, data & policy


  • Janne-Markus Rintala, ICOS ERIC
  • Laura Sinikallio, Univeristy of Helsinki 
  • Maiju Tiiri, ICOS ERIC
  • Astrid Hügli, ICOS Cities 

Climate change is a complex challenge. This social, economic, and ecological transformations have wide-ranging consequences on everybody: collective action is needed. 

The role of adult education is often underestimated or forgotten. Yet, the rapid changing world must provide learning tools to keep a sustainable development. 

Sharing expertise, passing on know-how and a constant development of the already existing is important.

  • How can we train experts in measurement for the future
  • How can we get better data quality
  • How can we improve our models
  • How can we keep our work life balance

Come and share your best practices on education. The interdisciplinary dialog between scientific and pedagogical experts can lead us to improve further education. 

This session

  • aims to promote new open online courses on instruments and devices
  • provides training materials on how to use ICOS data (Jupiter notebooks, RI data ect.)
  • would like to gather information to start discussions for joint future operations 
  • redefines expertise and competence in today's world.

We invite scholars and practitioners from universities, universities of applied sciences, research institutions, SMEs and other civil society organisations to participate in the dialogue on the above-mentioned themes and on the role of Adult Education in the constantly changing world.

17. Best Practices in the landscape of Research Infrastructures:  Cooperation, Co-location and other lessons learned


  • Martyn Futter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences 
  • Syed Ashraful Alam, University of Helsinki 
  • Niku Kivekäs, ACTRIS ERIC  
  • Sindu Raj Parampil, ICOS ERIC
  • Elena Saltikoff, ICOS ERIC

Research Infrastructures (RI) are assets, facilities and services which collect and coordinate environmental measurements. They enhance the scientific community’s ability to undertake excellent research and deliver innovation outcomes supporting societal efforts to understand, adapt to and mitigate global environmental change. The value of surface-based observations increases with site representativeness, number of parameters measured, temporal duration and comparability of data within and across RIs.

Although each RI is unique, they have many common aspects and can learn from each other’s experience in areas such as scientific protocols, data management (e.g., labelling), resource management (e.g., people, instruments and information) and stakeholder communication. Cooperation between RIs can support the cross-site collection, harmonisation, curation and publication of data needed to better document ongoing environmental change, to “ground-truth” remote sensing and model outputs, and to predict future Earth system behaviour. However, the benefits of co-operation need to be better communicated to funders and actors across siloes.

We invite abstracts from any RI to openly share lessons learned and best practices, as well as insights into the Earth system based on observations from multiple RI networks (e.g., ICOS, eLTER, ACTRIS, etc.). We would also like to highlight examples of successful national level support and stakeholder communication.

18. Manufacturers' Session

This session is dedicated to instrument manufacturers and other companies to showcase their latest innovations and developments. The talks will be taking place during the lunch and coffee breaks.