ICOS Ireland

Atmospheric Research Station at Mace Head, County Galway
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The ICOS Ireland network currently consists of 10 sites: 4 Atmospheric, 5 Ecosystem and 1 Ocean station. It is one of the most comprehensive sets of observations in Europe. The atmospheric sites are strategically located at westerly, south-easterly and northern coastal boundary locations which provide crucial data for the understanding of how atmospheric composition is impacted by emissions and removals in Ireland. The Mace Head site has a unique history and role in the European and global observations of background North Atlantic level of greenhouse gases, ozone depleting substances, aerosols, and a range of other air pollutants, as well as local and north Atlantic impacts. Mace Head and all of the Irish sites are impacted by European continental emissions when air masses are transported from that region.  These data provide a powerful combination to study the range of local, regional, and long-range impacts of human activities on our atmosphere.

Data from the ecosystem sites provide detailed information on the exchange of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the ecosystem vegetation and soils.  These complement the atmospheric data from the boundary sites.  Ecosystem sites have been established at grassland, peatland, and forest locations.  These sites are designed to inform and assist in the ongoing management of carbon exchanges at these sites and more widely across Ireland.

The ocean site is based on the Celtic Explorer RV, a registered “Ship of opportunity” (SOOP) station. The ship semi-continuously measures surface seawater (at 5 metre depth) and atmospheric pCO2 and routinely self-calibrates with reference gases to ensure high data quality. The ship’s primary work area includes the Irish continental shelf and other nearby areas in the Northeast Atlantic.

The ICOS Ireland network consists of several partners and universities: The University of Galway, Trinity College Dublin, the Marine Institute Foras Na Mara, Met Éireann, Teagasc, The National Parks and Wildlife Services and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland acts as the focal point for ICOS Ireland.

Contact ICOS Ireland

ICOS Ireland Focal Point
Katherine Dooley, Climate Scientist
Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland

Station list