CO2 emissions, cutting edge Italian research related to measuring greenhouse gases in the atmosphere

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The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has never been this high. This was recently affirmed by the World Meteorology Organization (WMO) , which emphasized that in 2015 the values had exceeded those 400 ppm (parts per million), which constitute a very important threshold in climate change studies, in their causes, and in their impact. This news, which was greatly talked about worldwide in the media, has arrived just before the Marrakech Climate Change Conference, where the international community is going to meet and discuss the best ways to implement the Paris Agreement and the solutions that are best suitable towards maintaining the increase in average global temperature to below two degrees Celsius.

Within this scenario, the Italian scientific community – the first in Europe – officially established a Joint Research Unit (JRU), a collaboration agreement signed in recent days by fifteen institutes, centers, and universities that have agreed to support and promote Italy’s participation in the ICOS -RI – Integrated Carbon Observation System-Research Infrastructure – a European infrastructure for distributed research, which provides high-quality measures regarding the carbon cycle, greenhouse gas emissions, and their atmospheric concentrations on a European scale.

This is a very important signal, where the main protagonists in Italian research regarding climate change are formally committed towards sharing expertise, data, and the systems required to process and use the data in scientific and educational activities.

Italy’s role in the ICOS-RI is highly qualified and very relevant with regard to many activities that relate to monitoring CO2 and other greenhouse gases on a European level, namely, the work that is of crucial importance for divulging information of great interest for the public opinion and the world community, such as the increase in the 400 ppm threshold communicated by the WMO.

In particular, within the ICOS-RI framework, Italy participates with its observation stations and atmosphere data collection through the Monte Cimone, Lampedusa, Potenza, and Plateau Rosa sites – with its ecosystems through the Castelporziano, Borgo Cioffi, Renon, Negrisia, Monte Bondone, Capodimonte, Arca di Noè, Bosco Fontana, and Torgnon sites, and with its seas through the sites located in Miramare, Paloma, E2M3A in the Adriatic sea, and the W1M3A in the Tyrrhenian sea. This is a leading participation in the European network, which is also highlighted by the Italian guide from the Ecosystem Thematic Centre – ETC (hosted in Viterbo at the University of Tuscia and the CMCC – Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change), the center towards which all data from the ICOS-RI ecosystem sites converge and which is responsible for data processing and quality control, methodological developments, training, and network coordination.

The collaboration agreement regarding the implementation of research and development in the field of infrastructures involving research on the carbon cycle through the JRU, commonly called ICOS-IT (ICOS Italy), was signed by: the National Research Council (CNR), the CMCC Foundation – Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change, the University of Tuscia in Viterbo, the Council for Research in Agriculture and Agricultural Economy Analysis (CREA), the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), the Regional Agency for Environmental Protection (ARPA) of the Val d’Aosta, the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, the Edmund Mach Foundation (FEM), the University of Sassari, the University of Padua, the University of Genoa, the University Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics (OGS), the Free University of Bozen, and the University of Udine.

For more information on the ICOS-RI:

Enrico Brugnoli (JRU ICOS-IT Coordinator) [email protected] – tel  06-49933836
Carlo Calfapietra (ICOS Italy Focal Point) [email protected]
Dario Papale (ETC Director) [email protected]
Mauro Buonocore (Press Office) [email protected]

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