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EUROFLUX develops pioneering methodology for CO2 measurements

The EUROFLUX project (1995-1998), funded under the EU's Environment and Climate research programme, aimed to establish long-term flux measurements of carbon dioxide, water and energy in 17 different forest eco-systems on the European continent.

The project has produced a data...
The EUROFLUX project (1995-1998), funded under the EU's Environment and Climate research programme, aimed to establish long-term flux measurements of carbon dioxide, water and energy in 17 different forest eco-systems on the European continent.

The project has produced a database which contains about 80% of worldwide data on long-term flux measurements, and encompasses a wide range of climate and vegetation types. This has provided significant insights into the role of European forests in the terrestrial carbon cycle, with preliminary results showing that about one third of CO2 emissions in Europe are absorbed in European forests.

Due to the importance of this issue in the light of international developments, such as the signing of the Kyoto Protocol last December for the reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases, a number of international workshops were held to discuss EU R&D results in the area.

Of particular significance was the workshop held in Polson, USA, which resulted in the initiation of a similar project for North America - AMERIFLUX, where US and EU participants agreed to adopt the concept and methodology adopted under the project for an American network. Other networks have also been set up including the MEDEFLU network, which has six sites distributed across Mediterranean Europe and the Euro-Siberian carbon flux network.

A recent conference held in Washington, USA, in the framework of the recent EU-US S&T Cooperation Agreement, also discussed closer cooperation on the climate change issue, with particular reference to the terrestrial carbon budget.

Source: European Commission, DG XII

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