Hungary will join the Integrated Carbon Observation System, ICOS, a Europe-wide research infrastructure providing greenhouse gas data to prevent climate change.
The level of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere rises constantly and precise observation is essential to predict climate change and mitigate its consequences. In line with the political commitment of the Paris Agreement, the supporting monitoring and verification systems must also be at full capacity and able to confirm the intended emission reductions in Europe.
ICOS produces standardised, high-precision and long-term observations facilitating research to understand the carbon cycle and to provide necessary information on greenhouse gases. This knowledge supports policy- and decision-making to combat climate change and its impacts.
The pan-European organisation has 140 measurement stations across 13 European countries. The map can be found on the website of ICOS. The stations observe greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere as well as carbon fluxes between the atmosphere, the land surface and the oceans.
In May, Hungary submitted its application to join the European Research Infrastructure Consortium, ERIC of ICOS which was unanimously approved by the General Assembly. Hungary will become a member from 1 January 2022.
According to the ELKH research institute – a member of the Hungarian ICOS consortium – anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions will become directly measurable both in terms of the use of fossil fuels and agricultural and forestry activities. By analysing the data in the measurement network, it will be also possible to measure the impact of emission mitigation policies and assess the fulfilment of commitments.
ICOS currently consists of 13 countries: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Sweden. The membership of Estonia, Ireland, Poland and Portugal are also on the table.
Also last month, ICOS has been granted an EU funded project to develop a greenhouse gas measurement system for cities, which will determine fossil fuel-related emissions from the rest of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Paris, Munich and Zürich have been selected as pilot cities, but to increase the impact and to make sure the concept developed will fit for different types of cities in different countries and landscapes, also 12 other cities are joining the city network, which includes cities from the Central and Southeastern Europe as well such as Krakow, Brno and Athens.