Researchers in Finland are working to develop a comprehensive, multidisciplinary model of the carbon cycle and its impacts on climate change in northern ecosystems. The focus of work in the Academy of Finland’s Global Change Research Programme (FIGARE) has been on the uptake and release of carbon in different ecosystem reservoirs, the atmosphere, vegetation, trees, forest land and lakes.
‘The carbon dioxide content in the earth’s atmosphere is slowly and steadily increasing. Given the results we have accumulated over the years using highly accurate instruments that measure carbon dioxide flows, it is now possible by means of meteorological methods to establish what kinds of sinks and sources there are for carbon dioxide, to know where carbon dioxide is stored and where it is released from,’ says Professor Timo Vesala from the University of Helsinki.
In Finland, atmospheric carbon dioxide is regularly monitored among other things by means of point measurements in forest environments. This method yields local information on how much carbon dioxide is stored in forests and how much is in turn released. ‘This is important and valuable information even though it sheds no light on the bigger picture of carbon exchange. It is used by researchers to try and model and predict the process of carbon exchange in the forest ecosystem. The model we are now working on will be useful if it can predict factors that have an impact on the carbon cycle in different weather conditions,’ Professor Vesala continues.
Jenni Järvelä | alfa
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