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Data Quality System for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and sinks


Specific Objectives:
1. To work towards further harmonisation of measuring and reporting CO2 sinks, through activities with Member States and Candidate Countries: (a) continue the checks and comparisons of the LUCF sector of MS inventory submissions that have been already initiated by JRC in collaboration with COST E21 and the CARBOINVENT-project (b) perform and finalise a pilot study with experts from selected MS on learning harmonisation by doing it (c) analyse how the new Framework Regulation "Monitoring of Forests and Environmental Interactions" in preparation by DG ENV/B2 could contribute to harmonise and to help in QA/QC procedures and bottom-up verification within the EU-National System of GHG reporting of LUCF (in collaboration with action 2141 INFOREST) (d) Prepare a map of carbon stocks in European forest soils, based on soil survey of ICP forest and other relevant information (in collaboration with action 2132 MOSES) (e) provide training to LUCF-experts from CC- countries on LUCF-reporting and EU-wide data-sets of relevance (coll. with other Commission services and FAO-GTOS);
2. To harmonise measurement and reporting of CH4 and N2O emissions, through activities with Member States and Candidate Countries on request of Monitoring Mechanism Committee WG1. The goal is to support Commission services and MMC with regard to harmonisation and improvement the reporting of CH4 and N2O emissions from agriculture C in parallel to what has been done for the category carbon sink in forests;
3. To compile and integrate data sets collected at different scales and from different sources, including directly measured data, relevant to GHG emissions and sinks reporting of EU MS and CC to UNFCCC. An overview of available datasets at European level with information and parameters relevant for the estimation of carbon in forests will be compiled. To start the compilation of datasets of relevance for agricultural emissions. The overview will be made available to MS experts and to the scientific public within the CARBODATA database and meta-information system already in place for the CARBOEUROPE cluster (see;
4. Top-down CH4 emission sink estimates based on inversion modelling: Based on the Greens function approach (different source functions for individual European countries), first estimates of methane sources in Europe; start development of the global 3D model TM5, for inverse modelling of sources and sinks of GHG (in collaboration with action 2212 TRADE- OFFS);
5. To improve the understanding of CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes between the biosphere and the atmosphere, how they are affected by meteorology, air pollution and nitrogen deposition. Check full balance of GHG in comparison of a local series of land use changes from virgin forest to poplar plantation and rice field. To extrapolate from plot measurements to the bioclimatic region represented by the plot. The study contributes to the datasets, process understanding and regional estimates elaborated in the frame of the CARBOEUROFLUX and NOFRETETE projects of DG RTD;
6. To prepare a GHG emission and sink verification system. (a) To contribute to a European scale inventory of emissions and sinks of GHG in collaboration with EMEP/CORINAIR and the concerted action CARBOEUROPE-GHG (b) To continue validation of the biogeochemical model BIOME-BGC of European carbon sinks in forests; (c) To contribute to a unified process modelling approach for emissions of N-oxides and CH4 from agriculture and forests in Europe (Denitrification and Decomposition Model DNDC)(in collaboration with action 2221 Terrestrial ecosystem monitoring);
7. Creation of a common informatic system for easy integration of the various datasets (e.g. emission inventories, concentration measurements from in- situ and remote sensing, meteorological data, and model results) and to make them available as input to forward and inverse model calculations (joint objective with action 2212 TRADE-OFFs, in collaboration with action 2142 European Spatial Data Infrastructure);
8. To develop consensus between EC, MS and stakeholders regarding the achievable degree of quality on GHG emissions and sinks: contribution to international assessments (IPCC). Two members of the team were nominated by the Commission and accepted by IPCC as experts for the preparation of a report on IPCC Good Practice Guidance for LULUCF and for the IPCC Expert Group on "Practicable Methods to Factor out Direct Human-Induced Changes in Carbon Stocks and GHG Emissions from Those Due to Indirect Human Induced and Natural Effects";
9. Studying the feasibility for setting up a research activity on "Sustainability", based on the multidisciplinary expertise in the Global Change Priority and beyond. Anticipated milestones and schedule Major milestones and deadlines are determined by meetings of the EU Monitoring Mechanisms Committee, e.g. spring 2003: present report and recommendations from the Pilot study LUCF Feb. 2003: organize workshop on GHG and agriculture Autumn 2003: organize workshop on inverse modelling for verification of GHG emission and sinks Workshop on LUCF reporting of CC-countries (PECO proposal) End of 2003: IPCC Good Practice Guidance presented at COP 9 Milestones related to research activities are linked to the schedules of complementary research networks or shared cost actions, e.g. March 2003: definition of JRC-contribution to CARBOEUROPE Integrated Project (2003-2008) Summer 2003: final reports of carboeuroflux and carbodata projects.
Planned Deliverables:

1.1 Pilot study with MS-experts, including recommendations to MMC-WG1 how to harmonise ongoing reporting of LUCF-activities to UNFCCC 1.2 Map of carbon stocks in European forest soils 1.3 Workshop with LUCF experts from Candidate Countries

2.1 Report on MS-submissions of emissions from agriculture 2.2 Meta-information on European data-sets relevant for agricultural emissions 2.3 Organisation with EEA of a workshop "Greenhouse gasses and agriculture"

3.1 Meta-information on European data-sets of relevance for LUCF reporting available on the web

4.1 Adjoint code of TM5 model for inverse modelling 4.2 Estimates of methane sources in Europe consistent with world-wide emissions

5.1 One year of data on GHG fluxes and their environmental drivers for a pine forest in San Rossore (Pisa) and the Kyoto experiment in Parco Ticino (Pavia) 5.2 Contribution to a GHG monitoring strategy in Europe (report)

6.1 Validated and updated estimates of EU carbon sinks in forests 6.2 Access to database of carbon emission factors for fossil sources 6.3 Comparison of MS CH4 and N2O emission estimates from agriculture with output from the DNDC model

7.1 Definition of the informatic system for data model integration

8.1 Contribution to IPCC expert groups on "Good Practice Guidance for LULUCF" (Report) 8.2 Contribution to IPCC expert froup on "Factoring out indirect human Induced effects" (Report).
Summary of the Action:

This Action will expand on an activity that ran for the past 2 years in collaborating with DG ENV E1 and the European Environmental Agency (EEA) on issues of data quality in the specific area of CO2 sequestration in forests. It aims at providing a broader Data Quality System for greenhouse gas emissions and sinks as part of the EU GHG Inventory System. The Data Quality System, will include experts from Member States and Candidate Countries, as well as contributors of relevant EU institutions such as the EEA and EUROSTAT. It will tackle the issues according to their degree of uncertainty or lack of consensus: CO2 sequestration in the biosphere, CH4 and N2O emissions from agriculture, trade-offs between GHG emissions and sinks from land use changes, forests and agriculture, emissions from individual installations. S&T reference system as envisaged within ERA, based on established networking with CARBOEUROPE cluster of projects.

This action has built-in synergies with actions 2212 (Trade-offs between climate change and air pollution policies), 2132 (Monitoring the state of European soils MOSES), 2141 (Information and monitoring of the forest environment, INFOREST), 2221 (Terrestrial ecosystem monitoring). Rationale The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol requires the parties (including the EU) to monitor and report the implementation of emission reductions. Issues of Data Quality are very much stressed by the Protocol. For the EU, the Monitoring Mechanism Committee (DG ENV C1) is responsible for establishing the system and for taking care of its reliability.

Funding Scheme

JRC - Joint Research Centre research


Institute for Environment and Sustainability
Via E. Fermi 1
21020 Ispra