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This newsletter provides regular updates to the ICOS RI community as well as all those interested in ICOS activities.
ICOS ERIC welcomes UK as a new member

At the beginning of July United Kingdom has joined ICOS ERIC as the twelfth member of the ICOS RI pan-European network for greenhouse gas observations.

Prof. Andrew Watson from the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter will be the main ICOS UK Focal Point for all ICOS ERIC related activities, together with Prof. Richard Sanders from National Oceanography Centre, Southampton who is National Stakeholder Focal Point with the role to build up a good relationship between the national government and funding agencies and science community.

The United Kingdom has a strong GHG science community across atmospheric, ecosystem and especially
marine sectors and ICOS ERIC is looking forward to the ICOS UK co-hosting of the ICOS Ocean Thematic Centre together with Norway.

Helsinki welcomed over 250 scientists for the 2nd ICOS conference

Thank you everyone for taking part in the 2nd ICOS Science Conference!

ICOS ERIC hosted the 2nd ICOS International Conference on greenhouse gases and biogeochemical cycles in Helsinki, Finland from 27–29 September 2016.

Over 250 scientists and exhibitors from all over the world attended 2016 Conference held in Paasitorni congress centre in Helsinki. This year’s themes on greenhouse gas research, biogeochemical cycles, climate change, and future research challenges after the COP21 stimulated interesting discussion. The Conference included plenary talks as well as several parallel sessions and more than 140 posters around five conference themes.

Conference also introduced a new ‘Communicating Climate’ session to address some of the main challenges of effective environmental and climate communication. In addition, the Early Career Scientists workshop was organized for junior researchers in environmental sciences to discuss about academic career planning.

Next, 3rd ICOS Science Conference will be held in 2018 in a location that is yet to be decided on.


SC2016 Scientific Programme Committee

Read more here
ENVRI Plus staff exchange ICOSEuroGOOS

On 27
29 September, European Global Ocean Observing System (EuroGOOS) Communications Officer Dina Eparkhina visited the ICOS ERIC Headquarters in Helsinki as part of the staff exchange of the EU H2020 ENVRI Plus project. Exchange of Personnel (EoP) program enhances cross-Research infrastructure mobility and aims at cross-fertilization of ideas and experiences of RI staff and promotes knowledge transfer of new technologies, best practices, protocols, approaches and policies of RIs instead of data acquisition or fundamental research.
Global infrastructure cooperation championed at ICRI 2016

The ICOS ERIC successfully presented its pan-European and global cooperation activities at this year's international research infrastructure conference ICRI 2016, co-organized by the European Commission and the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) in Cape Town, South Africa at the beginning of October.

ICOS exhibited its activities at the ICRI 2016 through presentations, conference exhibition as well as by co-organizing fringe event together with ILTER and SAEON, in cooperation with the EU H2020 projects ENVRIplus, COOP+ and SEACRIFOG.

The event, entitled 'Observing the Anthropocene – Global infrastructure cooperation on environmental challenges', took place at the South African Astronomical Observatory and included Johan Pauw (SAEON), Hank Loescher (NEON,) Michael Mirtl (LTER) and ICOS ERIC Director General Werner Kutsch as a main speakers. During this ICRI 2016 side event they emphasized importance of the global cooperation between environmental research infrastructures.

Visitors at the ICOS booth. Left: South African Minister of Science and Techonology Naledi Pandor with European Commission Director-General for Research and Innovation Robert-Jan Smits Right: Finnish MEP Henna Virkkunen with ICOS ERIC DG Werner Kutsch.
WMO Annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin pushlished

On 24th October 2016 World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released the 12th yearly update of its bulletin on the state of Greenhouse Gases in the atmosphere and ICOS scientists contributed important parts to this bulletin including Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) GHG SAG activities. The WMO GAW network is a global network to which also ICOS stations are contributing their atmospheric observations.

The main finding is that the growth of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is still accelerating for all the major greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4 and N2O), because of human caused emissions. In 2015 we witnessed a particularly strong increase in CO2 due to the natural phenomenon El Nino, the first large one since 1997.  2016 will be the first year where CO2 abundances at the famous Mauna Loa station will not get below 400 ppm, and they won’t go below this level any more for centuries to come. Upon publishing WMO GREENHOUSE GAS BULLETIN for 2015, the WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas stressed the importance of mitigation: “It is therefore of the utmost importance that the that the Paris agreement does indeed enter into force well ahead of schedule on 4th November and that we fast-track its implementation.”
Italy establishes Joint Research Unit ICOS-IT

In October 2016, fifteen Italian research institutions signed an agreement that formally establishes the JRU  Joint Research Unit ICOS-IT with the purpose to coordinate the Italian participation in ICOS RI.

Shared by the main actors of the Italian research community involved in carbon-budget related topics, ICOS Italy aims at furthering and encouraging the Italian participation in ICOS Research Infrastructure by involving the national scientific community in activities such as data sharing, processing and dissemination.

The Joint Research Units will help the national scientific community to share research efforts in the framework of ICOS, and it will also provide to its members new opportunities in the participation to European projects.
View from the Castelporziano station in Italy
Release of SOCAT Version 4

ICOS scientists and data managers from the ICOS Ocean Thematic Centre (OTC) are heavily involved in the creation of the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT) which has recently released a new version of quality controlled fCO2 (fugacity of CO2) observations. The new release contains 18.5 million observations for the global oceans and coastal seas from 1957 to 2015. This release contains 4 million more observations than version 3, and moreover, it represents a long term accomplishment for the SOCAT contributors by being the first release based on automated data ingestion. Many PIs used the new automated data ingestion system, uploaded data themselves and performed initial quality checks before they submitted the data to further quality control. This automation system speeded up the data submission and quality control procedures and will in the future allow annual releases of SOCAT, starting from version 4. The framework around the SOCAT automation will be modified by OTC to handle real-time data streams from ICOS stations and their quality control.

All (a) and newly (b) added quality controlled surface water fCO2 observations (uatm) in version 4.
Read the full story
4th ICOS Sweden Workshop held in Abisko

At the end of August, the 4th ICOS Sweden Annual Workshop was held at the Abisko Scientific Research Station in Sweden. This year's workshop, which was attended by the ICOS Director General Werner Kutsch, highlighted the effects of climate change in the intersection between the southern extent of soil permafrost and the northern tree line which is generally assumed to be among the most dynamic found at the global scale.

The workshop hosting ICOS Abisko-Stordalen station is a treasure for arctic carbon cycle research. It is located in an area with extremely dynamic change with last pieces of permafrost melting due to increasing temperatures - a process that is changing every single aspect of the ecosystem. The ICOS observations at the station are combined with a platform for lots of additional measurements.
During the Abisko workshop two important highlights were presented, including a gene-to-ecosystem approach of analysing change in which biogeochemical processes are connected to abundance and activity of species identified for example by DNA analyses in soils. The second highlight presented at the ICOS Sweden workshop was the integration of the terrestrial and freshwater carbon which is needed for the complete picture of Arctic carbon fluxes.

The Swedish national network also presented the recent progress to become operational and the science that is done by ICOS Sweden and the Swedish research community connected to ICOS. Most of the stations have already passed the first step of the ICOS station labelling and now looking to ensure the long-term sustainability of the network through support by the Swedish Research Council.

The workshop included a visit to the ICOS Abisko-Stordalen station
20 years of flux measurements in Brasschaat

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of flux measurements at the ecosystem site in Brasschaat ICOS Belgium has recently invited the Flemish media to visit this ICOS site and climb the 40m high tower that was recently fully upgraded to the ICOS standards. Analysis results of 20 years of data collected at the site were revealed and presented new insights in our understanding of the interaction between forests and the climate based on the long-term research conducted in Brasschaat.

In 1996 the University of Antwerp together with the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) started measurements of CO2 and other greenhouse gas fluxes in this Scots pine forest in the north of Belgium. Today the flux tower of Brasschaat is one of the oldest and longest running ecosystem sites in ICOS and we look forward to another 20 years of continued and continuous flux measurements.

Footprint tool launched

ICOS Carbon Portal has launched a new Footprint tool which demonstrates the combination of several data streams and data types in a user friendly interactive application. Moreover, it combines observational time series with modelled time series and with spatial data products.

Next phase of the tool is to add footprint data from other models, ICOS observation data as soon as it is released, footprints at request, NRT footprint data and prognostic footprints for measurement campaign or flask sampling planning.

ICOS discussion fora is open

To facilitate the lively discussions in the ICOS community, new discussion fora is now available. Join the chat!
Join ICOS discussion fora
Forthcoming events
7-9th November, Montpellier, France

Group on Earth Observations GEO-XIII Plenary
8-11th November, St Petersburg, Russia

Time Series Conference
10-11 November, Tromsø, Norway

UN COP22 Observing the Arctic - Nordic Pavilion
12th November, Marrakesh, Morocco

3rd ENVRI week
14-18 November, Prague, Czech Republic

American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall 2016 Meeting
12-16 December, San Francisco, USA

ENVRI meets COPERNICUS Workshop (1617th November 2016)

As part of the forthcoming ENVRI week in Prague, ENVRIplus is organizing ‘ENVRI meets COPERNICUS Workshop’. The idea behind this workshop is to bring the RIs together to discuss the current status of their interaction with Copernicus. Many environmental Research Infrastructures (Env RIs) are placing Copernicus on the top-list of their users and in fact, can and will provide information and services relevant to Copernicus. However, when looking in a detail, very few Env RIs have clearly formalized specific agreements with Copernicus, directly or indirectly, for any service provision. On other side, Env RIs are on the radars of Copernicus as key players in Europe and we need to listen to expectations from stakeholders: Copernicus and European Environmental Agency in particular.

More about the WS and its agenda can be found here.
More ICOS news here

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