Carbon accounting of Europe's regions
The climate-KIC funded project CarboCount brings together researchers from atmospheric and forestry sciences as well as industrial partners in the effort to develop a monitoring system for the net carbon fluxes (mainly CO2) of the Les Landes forest in Southern France. It is one of the largest forest regions in central Europe and is important both from a climate as well as the economic perspective of the region. From a scientific point a core target is to understand the impact of storms and droughts on this ecosystem to better understand, how it will respond to changes in storm and drought frequencies that are predicted in the future. From a economic and climate relevant point of view it is also important to be able to quantify (ideally certify) the amount of CO2 stored in the forest. If future emission trading scheme are implemented on European scale it could become beneficial for the forest owners to stop the exploitation of this forest for wood and rather make it available as a "storage" for CO2 by increasing the carbon stock. Of course, quantifying the total carbon balance of a forest is quite complex and CO2 sequestered in a forest today can be released in future - ultimately not reducing the atmospheric CO2 load. Therefore, CarboCount has developed a system to monitor the net CO2 exchange between the forest and the atmosphere which is based on precise measurements and computer models. A photo of the field site (fire lookout towers) where I setup our measurement equipment during the measurement campaign can be found in the Gallery section and results will be published within 2015/16 - sneak preview: our monitoring and measurement system worked better than expected...
Project webpage: here