Spain became the 13th country to join the ICOS research infrastructure. Starting from 1 January 2021 eight measurement stations will gradually join the network: two ocean stations measuring in the adjacent sea areas, two ecosystem stations and four atmospheric towers.
The new stations will extend the standardised ICOS measurement network to the Spanish mainland, to the Canary Islands and to the Mediterranean Sea: areas that are strategically important and increase the geographical spread of the network.
Like all ICOS data, also the Spanish data will be openly available on the ICOS Carbon Portal, free of charge for anyone to use.
Read the press release here.
The University of Ghent has built the very first eddy fluxtower in tropical Africa. The CongoFlux tower, as it is called, has successfully started measuring beginning of October 2020 and is proposed as an ICOS ecosystem associated site. The tower is 55m high and powered by solar panels.
As the only fluxtower located in this part of the world, CongoFlux holds a huge added value for the ICOS monitoring network but also for the understanding of the carbon cycle at a global level. Tropical forests are a crucial ecosystem for global CO2 capture and exchange and are estimated to be responsible for ca. 10% of the annual fossil fuel-derived CO2 removal. However field-based data for CO2 uptake and GHG exchange for Congo basin forests, the second largest area of tropical forest worldwide, are lacking. As the very first flux tower for tropical forests in central Africa, CongoFlux will fill this knowledge gap.
The installation in the UNESCO Biosphere reserve of Yangambi, Democratic Republic of Congo was a a joint effort by the UGhent team lead by prof. Pascal Boeckx (ISOFYS) and local partners of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the Regional Postgraduate School for Integrated Planning and Management of Tropical Forests (ERAIFT), the National Institute of agronomic studies and research (INERA) and the company R&SD.
Construction of the tower was funded via DGD Belgium through the 10th EU Development Fund as part of the Yangambi Pôle Scientifique (YPS) project which intends to make Yangambi a scientific hub for the benefit of the populations and biodiversity of the DRC.
CongoFlux is part of the Flemish FWO IRI funding request where UGhent is added as new partner to the ICOS Belgium Consortium.
A big congratulations to our new colleagues at UGhent for this huge achievement!
An ICOS synthesis study of the 2018 severe Summer drought shows how vegetation in Europe responds to extreme dry conditions, i.e. how the exchange of carbon between the vegetation and atmosphere is affected. The 17 individual studies cover areas from Spain to Sweden and Finland, and from the Czech Republic through Germany, France and Belgium to the Netherlands and the UK. The drought studies provide crucial knowledge when trying to minimise the negative effects of climate change.
The 17 papers were published in a special theme issue of Philosophical Transactions B: ‘Impacts of the 2018 severe drought and heatwave in Europe: from site to continental scale’.
One paper covering 56 sites showed that carbon sinks decreased in general by 18%. The results are significant since such extreme droughts will likely happen much more frequently in the future.
The study was a joint research effort of over 200 top scientists made possible thanks to the existing infrastructure and data of ICOS.
“These drought studies demonstrate that the ICOS community is able to collaborate across disciplines, integrate various data streams and bring forth new knowledge to solve the challenges climate change sets all of us”, says Werner Kutsch, Director General of ICOS.
ICOS has written an article that discusses the effects of the Covid-19 shutdown. The study – based on ICOS data of course – shows these signs are currently almost impossible to see in the atmosphere – but they are there. The authors use an analogue of a swimming pool to explain in simple terms how the continuously increasing human emissions get mixed with the already existing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and of what magnitude is the effect of the Covid-19 shutdown.
In the article, ICOS invites everybody to join the race of finding the signal, this thinnest of the thin hair in the atmospheric swimming pool. To read the article and join the search for the signal, go to www.icos-cp.eu/event/917.
Enjoy reading and feel free to spread the word!
The second edition of the ICOS Belgium Science Conference was visited by 65 researchers and stakeholders from a wide array of institutes both belonging to the ICOS Belgium network and from outside ICOS. Even as ICOS is establishing itself as a global benchmark research infrastructure (RI) for greenhouse gas monitoring, continuous demands for new and specific data products and challenges await. How ICOS can and should collaborate, support or interact with other RI’s and research domains in the face of these challenges was the main question of the conference.
Speakers from ACTRIS, Copernicus, AnaEE and data platforms such as Terrascope presented their existing collaborations with ICOS, new possible applications for the ICOS data and future avenues for interacting. It is clear that synergies between the RI’s are possible and new ways of working together will have to be forged in order to tackle ever emerging challenges.
The greenhouse gas monitoring activities of ICOS are without doubt of global and public importance. Inversely can the general public play a role in helping with or improving the ICOS activities? Citizen science project Knappe K(n)oppen presented an example of how projects can engage and share their knowledge with high schools while the schools in turn can help a project by collecting large amounts of data.
The technical challenges and large number of research groups working in ICOS and ICOS related topics present private companies with new technological development opportunities and innovations and vice versa. Tech company ABB presented a new method for urban greenhouse gas monitoring that was tested in collaboration with the University of Utah. The conference demonstrated that ICOS isn’t just a greenhouse gas monitoring network but also a facilitator and partner for tackling broader scientific and societal problems related to climate change.
Find all the presentations on the conference website.
This was a special edition of the science conference because it was the last performance of prof.dr. Reinhart Ceulemans as the Belgian Focal Point. Reinhart Ceulemans gave a keynote speech where he reflected on his lifelong research on short-rotation forestry for bio-energy. Reinhart Ceulemans handed the torch over to prof.dr. Ivan Janssens who was appointed as his successor. We thank Reinhart for his dedication, pioneering role and relentless efforts to build ICOS RI and make ICOS Belgium the flagship network that it is today and welcome Ivan into his new function. Best of luck to the both of you!
View the conference pictures here.
The 2019 ICOS Belgium Science Conference will take place on Thursday 3 October 2019 at Hof van Liere in Antwerp. The second edition of the conference focuses on the vast possibilities of greenhouse gas measurements within and beyond the monitoring networks of ICOS with a focus on research and collaborations in Belgium. Participants can register and/or submit an abstract via the registration page for one of the three themes of the conference:
The abstract submission deadline is 18 August 2019. Visit the website for more information and to register.
The 2019 ICOS Belgium Science Conference is organized by the University of Antwerp, the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy and the University of Liege.
More than 3400 Belgian scientists have signed an Open Letter for a braver and more ambitious climate policy. The Open Letter was written by the Global Change Ecology Centre of University of Antwerp, one of the partner universities of ICOS. The Open Letter was initiated by Dr Sara Vicca and Prof Dr Ivan Janssens, the Head of the ICOS Brasschaat ecosystem station. Vicca and Janssens wanted to react to the overwhelming success of two events which took place in the end of January - the school strikes by Youth for Climate that mobilised more than 35 000 secondary school students, and the Climate March which brought more than 70 000 people to Brussels making it the largest ever march in Belgium.
The Open Letter summarises the main facts about climate change in seven clear statements. The thousands of academics that support the letter are a proof of the broad scientific consensus on both the drivers of climate change and the action required to limit the rise in temperatures below the 1.5 °C target.
Fifteen new greenhouse gas measurement stations have been certified for standardised ICOS greenhouse gas data production. One of them is the Thornton Buoy located near the artificial reefs at the C-power wind farm in the Belgian part of the North Sea.
The data collected at these new stations will help to reveal the carbon emissions and sinks in Europe. ICOS data is essential to predict climate change and to mitigate its consequences in line with the United Nations agreements currently being negotiated at the COP24 climate top in Katowice, Poland.
"The greenhouse gas information gathered from all over Europe is essential for national governments to improve their mitigation activities, and also for inter-governmental organisations to make informed decisions, when they seek ways to fulfil the requirements set by international agreements" says Dr. Werner Kutsch, ICOS Director General.
Read the press release (in Dutch) here.
This year’s Dag van de Wetenschap event at VLIZ, Oostende attracted approximately 1000 visitors. At the ICOS stand children could participate in three CO2 experiments. As can be seen from the photo the kids were very happy to make their own CO2.
In Maasmechelen UAntwerp collaborated with UHasselt to promote the nearby ICOS ecosystem station and the AnaEE Ecotron. More than 100 visitors joined the guided walk around the Ecotron infrastructure. The walk ended in the Field Research Centre of UHasselt where a team of ICOS volunteers used experiments to demonstrate the greenhouse gas effects and its consequences.
Wat zijn broeikasgassen? Hoe komt het dat het klimaat verandert? Wat betekent klimaatverandering voor onze natuur? Hoe onderzoek je de effecten van klimaatverandering?
Ontdek samen met wetenschappers van de Universiteit Hasselt en Universiteit Antwerpen de antwoorden op deze vragen!
Tijdens een begeleide wandeling met een Ranger van het Nationaal Park maak je kennis met de Ecotron UHasselt De Ecotron bestaat uit 14 hoogtechnologische kamers, waarmee wetenschappers in staat zijn om het klimaat van de toekomst na te bootsen. Op deze manier kan men de effecten van klimaatverandering op het ecosysteem heide bestuderen. Dit onderzoek is gebaseerd op metingen van het Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) van UAntwerpen en is uniek in de wereld!
Aansluitend tonen wetenschappers van UAntwerpen en UHasselt je aan de hand van proefjes in het Field Research Centre wat ze meten en op welke manier ze dit doen. Je kan er zelf het broeikaseffect nabootsen, de oceaanverzuring waarnemen, de diversiteit aan bodemdieren van de heide ontdekken….
De Ecotron UHasselt kun je enkel bezoeken onder begeleiding en mits registratie. Maximaal 25 personen per rondleiding. De begeleide wandelingen starten om 13u00, 14u00, 15u00 en 16u00 in het Field Research Centre en duren ongeveer 1,5 uur.
Inschrijven kan vanaf 7 november 2018
Hoofdtoegangspoort Nationaal Park Hoge Kempen
3630 Maasmechelen (Eisden)
Meer informatie en inschrijving vind je hier: www.dagvandewetenschap.be
Watch the new video presenting the Simon Stevin and Thorton Buoy Ocean Stations.
The fourth edition of the ICOS Belgium Consortium Meeting was held on Friday 1 June 2018 in Vielsalm. Host of the meeting was the Université Catholique de Louvain. The agenda consisted of a.o. an introduction of the new ecosystem station of Dorinne, an update of all the stations in the national network, the state of progress of the station labelling process, the launch of the renewed ICOS BE website, the planning of the upcoming ICOS BE Science Conference in 2019 etc.
The annual meetings are the one moment where the whole Belgian ICOS consortium comes together to discuss the planning and progress of the network, to exchange ideas and keep each other updated and to plan joint initiatives and collaborations. We therefore thank all of the participants for a constructive meeting and look forward to next year’s edition which will be hosted in Antwerp. See you there!
The Lonzée ecosystem station, was among the first 7 stations, out of an expected 140 stations all over Europe, to have successfully completed the ICOS labeling process and to have received the official ICOS label in November 2017. The label guarantees that the ecosystem station meets the high level of standardization and measurement quality set by ICOS.
To celebrate this certification, an inauguration event was organized at the station site on Thursday 29 March 2018. The event took place in the eminent presence of Walloon Minister of Energy and climate Mr. Jean-Luc Crucke, the academic authorities of ULiege, Mr. Van Eyck farmer-owner of the land and several representatives of the ICOS RI network.
Press releases concerning this event:
The Lonzée ecosystem station, located in the middle of a large rotating crop (wheat/sugar beet/potatoes) near Gembloux, typical of the agricultural activity on the fertile lands of the Hesbaye plateau was established by the University of Liège already in 2004.
After five years of preparation (since the start of ICOS in Belgium), the Lonzée station will be among the first 7 stations, out of an expected total of around 140 all over Europe, to have been recognized as having the level of standardization and measurement quality in line with the very high requirements imposed by ICOS.
To celebrate this certification, an inauguration event is organized on the station site on Thursday 29 March 2018. The event will take place in the presence of Walloon Minister Crucke in charge of climate (in consultation with Walloon Minister Jeholet in charge of research), representatives of the ICOS RI network, the academic authorities of ULiege, Mr. Van Eyck farmer owner of the land and Mrs. Claire Chenu, a French professor-researcher known for her work on ecosystem soil services.
Ekoli vzw is an organisation specialised in developing science workshops for children (http://www.ekoli.be/eng/). Together with the University of Antwerp they have developed a workshop (in Dutch) about climate change and climate research under the framework of ICOS. The workshop is aimed at children aged 11 to 14 years old. The try-out of the workshop took place last November during the Flemish Day of Science. This Spring the workshop called ‘Experimenteer mee met CO2’ (or in English ‘Let’s experiment with CO2!’) will be touring around Flemish high schools to educate young teenagers on climate change issues and to promote the work of ICOS. The 2,5 hour workshop is completely free of charge and the experiments designed so that they can easily be replicated in the class or at home with a minimum of material.
We are still looking for schools to visit in the period of 24 May until 31 May 2018.
If you would like to invite us to your school or if you wish to have more information please contact ThiMinhTu.Nguyen@uantwerpen.be.
In November 2017 the Flemish government has published a decree on the participation of Flanders in international research infrastructures (RI’s). The decree provides a structural framework that groups, streamlines and updates the different instruments (ESFRI being one of them) used in the past by the Flemish government to support the participation of Flemish researchers in international RI’s. Within this new framework calls will be launched for the selection of Flemish researchers to participate in international RI’s and to receive single or structural financial support in doing so. ICOS Flanders is getting ready for the first call in spring 2018 as this will provide a framework for long term and secure funding. Exciting times lay ahead of us…
You can read the decree here.
The Day of Science brought more than 120 visitors to the ecosystem station of Brasschaat!
Guided tours around the flux tower were given by scientist of ICOS and INBO.
The participants tested their knowledge and skills in the climate change experiments.
Young and old learned about the forest ecosystem during a guided walk with the ranger through the surrounding forest.
The event was picked up in the local press (Gazet van Antwerpen, 27 November 2017)
Have you ever wondered what it is that climate researchers do all day? Or wondered what a flux tower looks like up close? What is a flux tower anyway? On Sunday 26 November 2017 you can come and discover the answer to these questions and more right at the flux tower of Brasschaat! Join a guided tour around the tower and learn about greenhouse gas monitoring from a climate researcher. Or take part in our greenhouse gas experiments and discover how trees can help in the fight against climate change. Or take a walk with the ranger and learn about the forest ecosystem and why we should protect it. More information (in Dutch) or download the poster
ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System) is the European Research Infrastructure (RI) providing high-precision data on greenhouse gases. Our aim is to provide knowledge through observations. We are serving Earth System Science as well as societies and political decision makers. Our data comprise atmospheric concentrations, emissions and sinks of greenhouse gases, biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial ecosystems, oceans and atmosphere and related research. ICOS is a landmark of the European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and aiming to become an important part of the global observation system on climate and greenhouse gases.
ICOS is coordinated by a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ICOS ERIC) with statutory seat in Finland. The Head Office (HO) of ICOS ERIC, located in Helsinki, supports the central aims of ICOS ERIC to coordinate, develop, monitor and integrate the activities of ICOS RI by facilitating the work of the Director General (DG), the Research Infrastructure Committee and the General Assembly. The HO is led by the Director General. The HO is organized in four Units for ‘Administration’, ‘Operations’ and ‘Communication’ as well as direct support for the DG.
The Communication Unit organizes the general ICOS outreach activities and public relations on the basis of the scientific material provided by the different parts of the RI and sets up short and mid-term priorities in this field. It summarizes the results and publications and communicates them to a broader public. It also disseminates the achievements and results of externally funded projects.
ICOS ERIC is now looking for a Head of Unit – Communications who shall be responsible for the following tasks:
The successful candidate should have a university degree in Journalism, Media Management, Communication Management, or Pedagogics preferably with experience working with scientists on environmental monitoring or climate change research. Degrees in other subjects can be accepted as well with proven extended working experience in communication. Fluency in English is a mandatory requirement. In addition, she/he should have excellence in writing and editing outreach material. Skills in other European languages are beneficial. Experience on outreach activities and popularization of scientific results is essential. He/she should have outstanding social skills and capability to interact with the international science community. She/he should be able to follow a flexible approach to varying tasks, good organisational and administrative skills, ability to work under pressure, organising and prioritising tasks in order to meet tight and compelling deadlines, ability to work in a team, as well as autonomously and manage own workload. A successful candidate should also have a high degree of motivation and ability to work towards a common long-term goal.
The starting salary range will be 4800 – 5200 Euros but own ideas can be expressed. There is a four-month trial period. ICOS ERIC is an equal opportunity employer. This international position consists significant amount of travelling.
If you got interested, please send your CV and application (in English) with salary expectation via this link no later than 28.8.2017. For further information, please contact Tiina Koskelo, email@example.com or tel. +358 50 428 0842 best available on 16 August at 14.00-16.00 and 23 August at 08.00-10.00 local Helsinki time.
Further information about ICOS in general can be obtained from the ICOS RI website.
This year’s ICOS Belgium Consortium Meeting was held on Friday 5 May in Oostende. Host of the meeting was Flemish Marine Institute (VLIZ). The meeting kicked off with an update of the ICOS Belgium activities together with the announcement of news and upcoming events, such as the ICOS Belgium Science Conference. This is the first Belgian science conference on the use of ICOS data and infrastructure. It will be organized on Friday 20 October 2017 in Gembloux by the University of Liege and the University of Antwerp.
The annual meeting also serves as the moment where important decisions are voted for by the Consortium members. On the agenda was the approval of the final version of the ICOS Belgium Consortium Mission Statement. This document defines the joint objectives of the ICOS Belgium Consortium and specifies the roles and responsibilities of the partners.
As usual the afternoon program is when interactions and discussions take place. This year suggestions were made to improve the communication within and outside of the Belgian ICOS network.
The day ended with a visit to the impressive Research Vessel Simon Stevin, one of the two ICOS ocean observation platforms operated by VLIZ. With three ocean observation platforms (two operated by VLIZ and one by RBINS), the Belgian fleet represents a considerable share of the total European fleet (18 in total).
We would like to give a big thanks to all the participants and to the host and organizers for a productive meeting. See you next year in Louvain-La-Neuve!
Ever wanted to explain Eddy Covariance Flux measurements to your friends and family? Our American colleagues from NEON (http://www.neonscience.org/) have made a fun and comprehensible animated movie explaining the method. You can check it here. Have fun watching!
LI-COR Biosciences is providing an Eddy Covariance Training Workshop at the University College Dublin, Ireland on 14 - 16 March 2017. This training class is designed for those new to the Eddy Covariance method. A small contribution towards costs of €50 per person will be charged.
There is limited space for this class so please register early. Registrations will be handled on first come first serve basis. Travel, accommodations, and meals are the registrant's responsibility.
REGISTER HERE before March 1st, 2017.
The Ecotron Hasselt University, at the Connecterra gate of National Park Hoge Kempen, is a state of the art infrastructure for top international climate and biodiversity research. Ecotrons are climate-controlled units for the measurement of complex ecological processes and dynamics. The Ecotron Hasselt University consists of 12 sophisticated semi-automated climate chambers, including 12 large lysimeters, that will allow controlled studies of specific ecosystem monolyths and thereby safeguarding the real-time and realistic sun light conditions (the domes are transparent for a large part of the daylight spectrum).
The construction was realized through the combined expertise of Hasselt University and the University of Antwerp's Research Centre of Excellence PLECO and the research group of SPHERE and was funded by the Flemish Government, Hasselt University and Limburg Sterk Merk (LSM). The daily operation of the ecotron will be managed by the Field Research Centre of Hasselt University. The Ecotron Hasselt University was inaugurated in the presence of rector Luc De Schepper and Flemish Minister Philippe Muyters (Work, Economy, Innovation and Sport).
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 a Scots pine forest located in Brasschaat in the north of Belgium. Back then the flux measurements were taken in the framework of the Euroflux network. Today the flux tower of Brasschaat is one of the oldest and longest running ecosystem sites in ICOS.
To celebrate the 20th birthday of flux measurements at the ecosystem site the University of Antwerp invited the press to Brasschaat on Tuesday 11 October 2016. The Flemish media was invited to document the site and to climb the 40m high tower that were both recently fully upgraded to ICOS norms. Prof. Ivan Janssens (University of Antwerp, Research Center of Excellence PLECO), once a PhD student at the site himself, revealed the results of the analysis of 20 years of data collected at the site and presented new insights in our understanding of the interaction between forests and the climate based on the long-term research conducted in Brasschaat.
Great interest was shown by the Flemish press. Both the public (VRT) and provincial (ATV) television stations featured the flux tower in their news. Prof. Janssens did an interview with the biggest Flemish radio station (Radio 2) and the main Flemish newspapers reported on the event. Moreover Karrewiet, the children's news program of VRT, sent a reporter, 11 year old Mathis, to climb the tower and interview Dr. Eric Struyf, one of the researchers at the University of Antwerp. An overview of all news items can be found in the links below.
The integration of Brasschaat into ICOS guarantees that the ecosystem and climate research conducted at this unique and valuable ecosystem site can be continued on the long-term. We look forward to another 20 years of continued and continuous flux measurements!News Articles:
On 25 May 2016 the ICOS Head Office organized a press event entitled "Observing the Horizon" in Helsinki where the plans of ICOS to implement the Paris Climate Agreement were presented. The main guest of the event was European Commission Director-General of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation Robert-Jan Smits. The ambitions of ICOS to become the European pillar of the global in-situ carbon and greenhouse gas observations and to become a repository service for higher integrated knowledge were outlined. As Werner Kutsch, Director General of ICOS, put it"ICOS was designed primarily to observe the natural background carbon fluxes. However, we recently started to dive into the measurement of anthropogenic carbon emissions as well, especially in the urban areas. Our aim is to implement the system later this year and to be scientifically and technologically ready ahead of the next UN COP22 meeting in Morocco."
Mr. Smits also emphasized the important role that ICOS, as environmental research infrastructure, has in the implementation of the COP21 agreement."ICOS has made impressive progress on the way to become fully operational since the Commission granted it the legal status of European Research Infrastructure six months ago. This is good news, since it will provide scientific data on carbon emissions and trends that should underpin the necessary mitigation activities against climate change."
ICOS is preparing itself strategically for the future observational demands that will come from the UNFCCC. In the same line close collaborations with international bodies such as WMO, UNEP, IPCC, GCOS, and GEO are anticipated and the cooperation with COPERNICUS and the European Environmental Agency (EEA) will be deepened and further explored.
At the moment there are more than 100 ICOS RI stations in 11 member and observer countries. The first GHG measurement stations in the ICOS European network are expected to be labelled and operational in summer 2016. Another challenge of ICOS lies in increasing its geographical coverage and the number of participating countries.
In the 2015 year report of the Flemish Department for Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI) ICOS was mentioned as a top level international research infrastructure and an example ESFRI project. (link in Dutch only)
With real pleasure we invite you to the official launch of the Belgian Integrated Carbon Observation System network on Tuesday 22 March 2016 at 11:00 in National Park de Hoge Kempen in Maasmechelen.
ICOS Director General Werner Kutsch will officially launch the Belgian ICOS network in the presence of the Belgian press, stakeholders and partners.
What's more Flemish Minister for Innovation Philippe Muyters will be present to inaugurate the newest ICOS ecosystem station in NP de Hoge Kempen.
This brand new station, built and operated by the University of Antwerp, is the sixth ecosystem station in the Belgian network that also includes three ocean stations and one atmospheric station. This makes Belgium one of the most extensive ICOS networks of Europe.
Hereby the latest edition of the ICOS RI newsletter, last in the 2015, which was very successful year for the ICOS RI community.
As always, the newsletter includes ICOS related news from the past three months as well as some of the upcoming events in 2016.
Download the Newsletter.
COS RI together with the Universities of Helsinki, Lund and Bergen is organizing a COP21 side event entitled 'Trust but Verify: Towards a Comprehensive Global Observation, Information, and Verification System' discussing the strong need for a comprehensive and well organized scientific observation system on carbon and greenhouse gases in order to support mitigation and adaptation efforts.
The event will be held at the COP21 Nordic Pavilion in Paris on Tuesday on 1 December 2015 at 12:15.
ICOS RI is also taking part in the European Commission COP21 side event 'Open EO Data, Knowledge and Services for a Climate Resilient Society - a Case for Africa' which will take place on Thursday, 3rd December at 18.30 in the COP21 EU Pavilion. ICOS Director General Werner Kutsch has been invited as one of the main panelist.
The European Commission has officially launched ICOS ERIC or the Integrated Carbon Observation System European Research Infrastructure Consortium. The inauguration ceremony was held in Brussels on Tuesday 24 November 2015. Director General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission Robert-Jan Smits handed out the official plate to Finnish Minister of Education and Culture Sanni Grahn-Laasonen and ICOS Director General Werner Kutsch.
Director General Robert-Jan Smits congratulated Finland and the other eight partner countries for the successful completion of almost a decade long process from being listed in the ESFRI Roadmap in 2006 to the establishment of the ICOS ERIC in 2015:
'By facilitating long term pan-European carbon and GHG observations ICOS ERIC can provide invaluable knowledge to support the European and global efforts of reaching safe climate change mitigation goals. In the view of the upcoming UN COP21 in Paris, this is a clear signal from the EU about its commitments to the climate targets.'
The Finnish Minister of Education and Culture Sanni Grahn-Laasonen in her speech at the inauguration ceremony in Brussels also emphasized the importance of the timing of the ICOS ERIC establishment in relation to the COP21 climate conference in Paris. Minister Grahn-Laasonen pointed out that Finland has world-class knowledge in atmospheric and climate research and added that she is very pleased that her country will be hosting ICOS ERIC.
ICOS Director General Werner Kutsch thanked the European Commission as well as Finland for their support during the preparatory phase and also added that ICOS ERIC is the result the integrated scientific community effort.
The University of Antwerp is proud to announce a big step in the completion of its third ecosystem station located at National Park de Hoge Kempen in Maasmechelen. Construction works for the partlybelowground cabin were finished on 20 November 2015. The cabin was designed to minimize disturbance of the surrounding landscape. The station covers the only heathland ecosystem within the ICOS network. Installation of the eddy covariance setup and other instruments is currently taking place, we hope to have the station up and running in the next few weeks.
The Faculty of Bioscience Engineering of the Ghent University (UGent) is hosting an UGent-top titled 'Rente op Natuurlijk Kapitaal' on the value and valuation of natural resources. Keynote speaker is Ignace Schops, driving force behind National Park de Hoge Kempen where the brand new Flemish ICOS ecosystem is currently being constructed.
More information here (in dutch).
Register here (in dutch).
The ETC team at the University of Antwerp organized a hands-on training session from September 7th until September 9th 2015 on the collection of ancillary data at grassland, forest and cropland ecosystems according to the IOCS Ancillary Data Protocols. The training was hosted at the Agro Bio-Tech Campus of the University of Liège in Gembloux, Belgium in cooperation with the Unit of Biosystem Physics of prof. Marc Aubinet.
The training was aimed at the technical ICOS personnel responsible for conducting the ancillary data measurements at the ICOS ecosystem sites and at the people responsible for training the technical personnel.
On the first day of the training the background, methodology and sampling design of the Ancillary Data Protocols for grasslands, croplands and forests were explained. The theory was then demonstrated in the field during three site visits on the second day. The ecosystem site of Vielsalm, a mixed mature forest site and one of the longest running and most ICOS compliant forest sites was amongst others visited. The third and last day was dedicated to describing the preparation of data files and submission of the data to the ETC data portal.
Thanks to this initiative the ecosystem network also got the opportunity to interact and exchange experience and information.
Judging on the positive feedback received from the participants the training can be called a real success!
This was in many ways also thanks to the excellent collaboration between the Universities of Antwerp and Liège.
We would like to thank all 38 participants for a very fruitful and pleasant meeting!
The University of Antwerp has recently purchased a van for transport of material to and from the ecosystem sites.
We would like to welcome you to the first ICOS ETC Training Session on Ancillary Data Collection at Grassland, Forest and Cropland Ecosystems in Gembloux, Belgium from September 7th until September 9th.
The background, methodology and sampling design of the ICOS ancillary data protocols for grasslands, croplands and forests will be explained and demonstrated on site during this training.
Deadline for registration is Friday July 24th. You can register via this link: registration.
This event is organized by the ETC team at the University of Antwerp (http://www.icos-belgium.be/etc.html) together with the University of Liège, Unit of Biosystem Physics (http://www.gembloux.ulg.ac.be/physique-des-bio-systemes).
More information and preliminairy agenda: invitation
ICOS Sweden is an infrastructure for research on greenhouse gases in northerly terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The 2015 workshop focuses on fresh water and marine water as sinks and sources for atmospheric greenhouse gases.
Sea and lake systems are essential components of the global carbon cycle and there is a need to further assess their roles as sinks/sources for atmospheric carbon in a changing climate. The links between physical and biogeochemical processes are complex, but important for a better system understanding.
Download information folder.
On Wednesday 22 April a study day was held in Antwerp for all the national consortium partners of ICOS Belgium. The University of Antwerp (national Focal Point) was hosting the event. The goal of the study day was to strengthen the relationship amongst partners and to further elaborate on future collaboration possibilities.
In the morning an update was given on the national atmosphere, ecosystem and ocean networks. Three new partners that recently joined the network were introduced: Institut Scientifique de Service Public (ISSEP), Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA) and Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS-OD Nature). The Focal Point brought news from the ICOS Research Infrastructure (status of the signing of the ICOS ERIC, station labelling process) and presented the new national website. The University of Antwerp, as ETC hosting institute, gave an overview of past and planned ETC activities incl. development of a tool for processing LAI hemispherical pictures and production of training videos.
The afternoon was dedicated to a round table discussion on how to improve the communication streams and means for collaboration between partners. During the constructive discussion the need for sharing technical knowhow, expertise and even instruments was voiced. The discussion yielded a number of concrete ideas that could be materialized after signing of the ICOS ERIC contract: developing an instrument pool for sharing spare instruments and parts, offering ICOS related thesis topics and field work internships for students across partner institutes, organizing a yearly symposium focused on the results of measurements from all the Belgian ICOS stations. In the more distant future looking into research possibilities at the intersection of all three networks e.g. coastal towers.
Rewatch the presentations:
On March 4 and 5th 2015, ETC-Antwerp organized an expert meeting on the processing of hemispherical pictures to derive Leaf Area Index for forest ecosystems. Experts from several European countries were present and discussed on a golden standard for hemispherical image processing. The meeting took place at Elzenveld and was chaired by dr. Bert Gielen and ir. Ken Bastiaensen.
The 1st ICOS International Conference on Greenhouse Gases and Biogeochemical Cycles will be organised in Brussels on 23 to 26 September 2014. The topics will include: atmospheric GHG concentrations and anthropogenic sources; ICOS data and global biogeochemical modelling; biogeochemical cycles of forests, wetlands and agricultural ecosystems; ocean GHG observations and fluxes; regional integrations; focus on different GHG species and more.
The registration and abstract submission system for the ICOS Science Conference in September is now open. Welcome to register and submit an abstract here: http://www.icos-ri.eu/scienceconference
Abstract submission deadline: 26 June 2014
We have an opening for a postdoctoral researcher to work at the University of Liège - Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech from 15 February 2014 to 31 December 2015.
The aim of the project is to study the impact of climate and management on the carbon balance of two grazed grassland.
The Dorinne Terrestrial Observatory started in 2010. The carbon balance of the reference parcel has been studied since 2010. The coming two years, a second adjacent parcel will be monitored in order to assess the impact of the management of the herd of cows and of the renewal of the grass. Both grasslands will be equipped with an eddy covariance system, coupled with a meteorological station. The produced and ingested biomass will also be measured.
The successful applicant will be in charge of installing, with the help of the technical staff, the eddy covariance system on the second grassland; of computing and analyzing the eddy covariance data of both systems; of studying the impact of management and climate on eddy covariance and biometric fluxes and on the carbon balance. The successful applicant will be responsible of both eddy covariance and biometric measurements. In parallel, CH4 fluxes will be measured but will not be covered by the successful applicant.
The successful applicant will work in a multidisciplinary team in Gembloux (Belgium).
The required qualifications are - PhD in ecology, environmental or agronomical science, or another relevant area - Experience using the eddy covariance technique - Publication record in the peer-reviewed literature - Ability to work in an interdisciplinary group.
The applications and inquiries should be send to firstname.lastname@example.org and should include a CV, a statement of motivation and the names and email addresses of at least two references. The applications should be sent before 15 January.
Salary follows the standards of the University.