ICOS Conference 2018


Draft agenda can be downloaded from here.
Detailed agenda will be available later on.

The conference is structured around 13 themes/sessions.

Theme 1: Climate change mitigation – closing the gap between science, inventories and policy making
Conveners: Joanna Post, Lucia Perugini

Climate change mitigation is a challenge that concerns many levels of the society. Even though many processes are political, science is present in various ways. In the highest level, COP decisions within the United Nations framework bind countries to report and reduce their GHG emissions. This system is based on best available science. The national GHG inventories are largely based on emission factors which are defined by scientific publications. On the other hand, recent scientific developments lead to the capability of direct observations of national and global GHG sinks and sources. Concrete example of this policy-science linkage is the zero net emissions objective, Art 4.1 of the Paris Agreement, and the related challenges of how this objective can be achieved and how the net emissions can be correctly captured within the global stocktake process. Solving the socio-scientific challenge of climate change mitigation requires close collaboration. This session focuses on this complex system and shows where the contributions from Earth Observation scientists are most urgently needed.

Theme 2: Major research questions in Earth Observations
Conveners: Pavel Kindlmann, Beryl Morris

Currently many major global changes occur at the same time. Many of these are interlinked and understanding the complex interactions highly benefit from integrated approach across scientific fields. Increasing CO2 levels and warming climate cause migration of vegetation and changes in growth rates, which can be seen by remote sensing as ‘greening of the planet’. Also plant diseases and parasites, and herbivores, spread with environmental changes and threat e.g. food security. These changes may be more feasibly detected in terrestrial ecosystems compared to e.g. Arctic Ocean, where less parameters, such as ice extent, can be detected using satellite observations. However, it seems that not only the Arctic Ocean is warming, but that its carbonate system changes resulting in ocean acidification. All of these changes increase the uncertainty of future projections of GHG cycles. This session specifically welcomes topics that are related to carbon and GHG cycles and have use of these data.

Theme 3: Globally integrative studies
Conveners: Dennis Baldocchi

Theme 4: Data management and quality
Conveners: Per Öster, Zhiming Zhao

Efficient and effective management of data and data products is critical for modern climate science and a key responsibility for ICOS and other research infrastructures. Data management is concerned not only with the practical storage and serving of data, but also encompasses (semi-automated) data quality checking, metadata generation (including assignment of persistent identifiers for long-lived datasets), provenance recording (including for version management, attribution and accounting) and cataloguing (including exposing data to other services to increase the visibility and accessibility of research assets). ‘Data’ in this context are not limited to scientific observations and measurements, but also all derived products, metadata, code, logs and other information objects that must be properly curated. Thus, this session is concerned with the requirements and state of the art of data management and data quality checking in all parts of the ICOS research infrastructure and in conjunction with other environmental science initiatives and infrastructures with which ICOS collaborates.

Theme 5: Decadal variability in biogeochemical cycles
Conveners: Ute Schuster, Frank Berninger

High-frequency measurements over long time periods allows separation of short-term variation from long-term trend. But understanding of slow processes is needed to define whether the observed long-term trend is actually part of slow variation. Decadal variability is studied in oceans, where it is related e.g. to carbon and heat budget, but also in ecosystems where multidecadal variability affects e.g. tree growth. This session considers long-term variation that is related to carbon and GHG cycles in different domains, such as oceans and ecosystems.

Theme 6: Newest new in research – scientific and technical developments
Conveners: Timo Vesala

This session gives space to innovative approaches and pioneering efforts in integrative biogeochemical studies. The session is open for any type of approaches and research objects which are still scarce. Few examples are in-situ measurements including vertical profile retrievals of CH4 from the ground-based total carbon column observing network (TCCON), atmospheric measurements on the voluntary observing ships (VOS) platforms, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for concentration or vegetation monitoring, inland water carbon cycle observations and indirect estimation of photosynthesis (like in-situ reflectance/fluorescence and carbonyl sulphide uptake).

Theme 7: Land sink – from residual to direct estimates
Conveners: Markus Reichstein

Focus is on advances in the transition from estimating the land sink as residual of other components to estimation based on observations.

Theme 8: Reactive gases
Conveners: Christian Brümmer, Silvano Fares

Reactive gases are important for the chemistry of the atmosphere and lifetime of some GHG species. Ozone (O3) is itself a potent GHG, and is with carbon monoxide (CO) related to the removal of methane (CH4) from the atmosphere. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) cover a wide range of molecules, and recent studies indicate that dimethyl sulfide (DMS) is connected to carbonyl sulfide (COS), a promising proxy of photosynthesis. Furthermore, ammonia (NH3) emissions from agricultural practices may act as a precursor for particulate matter, whereas atmospheric nitrogen deposition may have significant effects on the productivity of natural and semi-natural ecosystems. This session focuses on the reactive gases that either influence the concentrations or are related to the fluxes of CO2, CH4, or N2O.

Theme 9: Bridging the gap between bottom-up and top-down methods
Conveners: Dominik Brunner

This session focuses on emission estimates based on two complementing methodologies, the so-called bottom-up and top-down approaches. Topics include advances and approaches to reduce estimate uncertainties. Atmospheric verification of emissions is vital along with global inversion methods. Results improving the current understanding of northern terrestrial land sinks, that are based on accurate in situ measurements or results showing changes in natural or anthropogenic emission are highly welcome.

Theme 10: Urban greenhouse gas budget – from novel monitoring networks to source identification
Conveners: Leena Järvi, Andreas Christen

•  Urban GHG budgets and source apportionment
• Novel urban monitoring networks and platforms
• Micrometeorological measurements of emissions and sinks
• Emission inventories including emission and uptake hotspots

Urban areas are major contributor for the global greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. Understanding in detail the total emissions of urban GHGs, their temporal and spatial distributions, including local hotspots, is a key for reducing their emissions and finding optimal emissions reduction strategies. Urban observations and modelling provide also independent evaluation for emission inventories. Different approaches for the urban greenhouse gas balance and source apportionment exists varying from micrometeorological emission measurements and isotope analyses to urban scale modelling. Novel city-wide measurement platforms including mobile observations are emerging where not only the CO2 is included but also other gases such as CH4 and N2O. At the same time, advances in ground based and satellite remote sensing allow for complementary estimation for urban greenhouse gas emissions.
This session will bring together the different methodologies used to examine and understand the urban greenhouse gas budgets, their emissions and sinks, and dependencies on different environmental factors. We welcome in this session contributions based on conceptual, experimental, observational or modelling approaches.

Theme 11: In-situ and remote sensing observations
Conveners: Corinna Rebmann, Marko Scholze

In the local level, fluxes are understood with rather small uncertainty with flux towers. Uncertainty is also relatively small in the global scale with flask and continuous tall tower sampling networks. Our understanding of fluxes reduces greatly when we move to the scale between these two – the scale of individual countries. At the same time, this scale is of high interest due to many scientific and political challenges. Reducing the uncertainty is effectively done by advances between in situ, remote sensing and modelling communities. This session addresses the complementing roles of in situ and remote sensing observations and the benefits of combining these methodologies.

Theme 12: From data to useful services with societal meaning
Conveners: Mikko Strahlendorff, Jean-Noël Thépaut

Climate change services have not yet found wide application. Reports for governing bodies is the norm then a much more data intensive and targeted service can be envisioned. For example, investments in real estate could benefit from climate predictions greatly. Maybe an individual prediction product needs to be produced for private interests to understand the values. Public services on the other hand are becoming more data driven and targeted.

Theme 13: Regional efforts to constrain the global C cycle
Conveners: Ana Bastos, Philippe Ciais

The global stocktaking under the Paris Agreement requires reliable and up-to-date information about global and regional green-house gas budgets and their component fluxes to be provided to societies and policy-makers.

The session invites contributions focusing on regional/basin level carbon budgets (CO2, CO, CH4) in land and ocean as well as their variability. The session is seeking contributions from the broader research community towards a second global assessment “REgional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes” (RECCAP-2) supported by the Global Carbon Project. Innovative approaches to improve understanding of both natural and anthropogenic fluxes and their anomalies at regional scales are welcome, as well as studies highlighting the potential of multiple data streams to produce regularly updated regional land and ocean carbon budgets, consistent with global budgets.

Other topics:
Do you have a study or results you would like to present but didn’t find suitable session? Submit your abstract to this category and we’ll see what we can do. We may distribute these to existing sessions or even decide to organise a new session.