Earth Networks and Europe’s Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) Partner to Advance Global Climate Science
Earth Networks Expands its Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Initiative into Europe by Partnering with European Consortium of Leading Climate Research Institutions to Establish Complementary Networks and Collaborate on Global Standards
Germantown, MD and Saclay, France – August 16, 2011 – Earth NetworksSM, the owner and operator of the largest weather, lightning and climate observation networks, announces it is partnering with ICOS, a European consortium of national climate research institutes from 17 countries dedicated to furthering climate science through an improved understanding of greenhouse gas levels and their impact on the environment. Through this partnership, Earth Networks will work closely with ICOS’ extensive network of climate scientists to increase the size of Europe’s greenhouse gas monitoring network and collaborate on data management standards for the measurement, storage, and exchange of atmospheric greenhouse gas data.
The partnership represents a material expansion of Earth Networks’ greenhouse gas monitoring initiative. ICOS will help Earth Networks determine the ideal placement of the company’s atmospheric greenhouse gas monitoring sensors in Europe, ensuring the new network will be complementary to ICOS’ existing European GHG monitoring network. The two organizations will also work to establish standards for data formats, data exchange, data quality control and assurance, and instrumentation calibration, while also working to create baseline measurements of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in Europe.
Data from the two networks will be provided as inputs into "top-down" models that will quantify carbon dioxide and methane emissions and sinks at regional, country and eventually urban scales throughout Europe. While ICOS anticipates it will bring together approximately 50 sites from partner institutions across Europe, Earth Networks plans to place 25 continuously reporting atmospheric monitoring stations throughout Europe on tall towers, thereby enabling the models to have significantly greater resolution. This resulting data will enable the production of carbon budget and footprint reports that will inform the research community, government policy makers and private industry by providing the independent measurement, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas levels and emissions for international and regional climate policy and carbon trading initiatives.
The news is the latest from Germantown, Md.-based Earth Networks, which announced in January the launch of the first privately funded greenhouse gas monitoring network. Earth Networks, in close collaboration with Scripps Institution of Oceanography, is deploying a global greenhouse gas monitoring network that will observe and measure atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane trace gases on a regional-to-local scale as never before. In the U.S., Earth Networks has already formalized agreements with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA-ESRL) to provide GHG data for use in climate research. The company also signed an agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), also in the U.S., to configure and operate prototype GHG observation networks for measuring carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere at local scales.
“I am enthused to see Earth Networks bring its greenhouse gas monitoring initiative to Europe,” says ICOS Coordinator Philippe Ciais, Laboratoire des Sciences du Climatet de l’Environnement, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, France. “Our research has shown there are several ways to increase the resolution of greenhouse gas models. A greater number of observations from additional monitoring stations is the primary requirement for producing models with more resolution. I believe Earth Networks will accelerate our understanding of the carbon cycle by bringing speed, efficiency and innovation to the partnership.”
“After launching our greenhouse gas monitoring initiative in the U.S., we felt it was critical to forge a deep partnership with the ICOS consortium, an organization whose members are among the top climate scientists in the world and bring decades of experience in studying greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” says Earth Networks CEO Bob Marshall. “We are excited to partner with ICOS as the monitoring of atmospheric greenhouse gases begins its natural transition from a research activity into actual operational deployment. We know that with better measurements comes better science -- and with better science comes better decision-making. Ultimately, we expect our work with ICOS will lead to improved decision-making and policy for the European Union and all of its member states."
ICOS is a European Research Infrastructure recognized by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) gathering institutes from 17 countries across Europe. ICOS aims at quantifying and understanding long-lived greenhouse gas fluxes over regions of the European continent and adjacent areas. ICOS provides the long-term observations required to understand the present state and predict future behaviour of climate, the global carbon cycle and greenhouse gases emissions. ICOS consists in a network of stations to measure ecosystem fluxes, and air-sea fluxes, at the local scale, complemented by atmospheric concentration measurements to verify greenhouse gas budgets over larger regions. The distributed monitoring is supported by central facilities to ensure comparability of measurements, inter-operability within the networks and provide centralized data processing. ICOS is currently in its preparatory phase funded by the European Commission under FP7. This Europe-wide project is coordinated by the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in France. ICOS website: http://www.icos-infrastructure.eu/.
About Earth NetworksSM
As the provider of advanced weather data for nearly 20 years, Earth Networks (formerly AWS) operates the world’s largest weather observation and lightning detection networks and is building what will become the largest greenhouse gas monitoring network. Observations from Earth Networks inform and alert consumers, enterprises and governments around the world, providing them with advanced environmental intelligence for decision making and safety. The company’s popular WeatherBug website, desktop application and mobile apps provide millions of consumers with real-time, local weather information and dangerous severe weather alerts. Enterprise solutions from Earth Networks enable organizations, including energy and utilities, agriculture, schools, sports and recreation, emergency operations and government entities, to safeguard lives, prepare for weather and climate events and improve business operations. Earth Networks (www.earthnetworks.com) is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with offices in Mountain View, Calif.; New York, NY; Milan, Italy and a local presence in 50 countries worldwide.