Prior flux maps

Elaborated ICOS data products are results from scientific analyses that are based on ICOS observational data in some way. Often, the goal is to scale up observations made in specific locations to gain understanding of conditions and processes on much larger spatial scales.

Examples of such analyses include vegetation models, that use ICOS ecosystem station observations on fluxes and climate variables both as training and driving variables, and atmospheric inversion models, which combine measurements of greenhouse gas concentrations from ICOS atmospheric stations with meteorological data from other sources.

Examples of elaborated data products include “flux maps” showing the variations in time and space of greenhouse gas sources and sinks over Europe and also globally. These maps are based on time series of gridded (raster) data, with a geospatial context, and may be combined with any other geocoded information, such as land use or population density.

The elaborated data (Level 3, or L3 data) will be made available on a voluntary basis by various research groups. In addition, the CP itself will likely also be producing some L3 data products.



Shown above is a modelled high resolution (5 kilometers) map of total flux of Carbon Dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas, in hourly intervals during one spring day (7 April 2008) and more below on a summer day (7 July 2008). Natural carbon dioxide fluxes arise from respiration of soil and plants (emission), assimilation by plants and trees (uptake), use of fossil fuels (emission) and exchange with ocean and seas (uptake or emission). The model used here needs an enormous amount of data to generate these fluxes, like meteorology, traffic and population data, satellite information on the green-nes of the surface due to plant and forest growth etcetera. Air sea exchange fluxes are based on extensive observations of the carbon dioxide concentrations in sea water.



ICOS will monitor fluxes of exchange of carbon dioxide above ecosystems (forests, grasslands, crops) directly using micrometeorological methods and high precision observations of concentrations of greenhouse gases at about 100 observation sites to improve the estimated fluxes as shown here. These observations well enable scientists to improve our understanding of the Earth System and to inform stakeholders on the development in natural and man-controlled environments of the fluxes of the greenhouse gases with time.