ME-1 Integrated observations and modelling of greenhouse gas budgets at...


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Title ME-1 Integrated observations and modelling of greenhouse gas budgets at the ecosystem level in The Netherlands
Period 01 / 2060 - unknown
Status Completed
Research number OND1344070


Human activities have caused an increase in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG) since the pre-industrial era by 30% for CO2 by 50% for CH4 and by 17% for N2O (IPCC, 2001). Because of trade-off effects between the emissions of these gases, the net greenhouse effect can only be assessed if these gases are considered together. A considerable part of the total emissions originates from the land surface. Unfortunately, reliable estimates of land-surface emissions and emission factors are still lacking. Unlike industrial emissions, emissions related to land use are controlled by a combination of biological and climatological factors with potential positive feedbacks to climate change. It is thus of paramount importance, not only to quantify land use emissions accurately, but to also identify the key driving variables to assess potential mitigation strategies, develop future scenarios and assist in reporting.

Such reporting, as legally required under the Framework convention for Climate Change and the Kyoto protocol, is usually executed with IPCC default emission factors. These do not discriminate between different regions in Europe, let alone the Netherlands (" Tier 1"). However, there is considerable variability in the emissions. In the future, the realism in the reported emissions will have to be improved. This project aims to set the main steps in developing a system that allowsthe use of extensive and representative country-specific information on carbon stock changes in estimates of emissions and removals and uncertainty assessment of the parameters entering the calculation ("Tier 3").

There is currently no single technique available that allows accurate determination of the GHG balance of the land surface for large regions, the size of nations. We intend to contribute to a system build that allows the best possible "bottom up" estimate of the GHG balance of the Netherlands. This requires a three-pronged approach that first, further applies and develops the techniques that measure routinely the fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O from the main land use types and management, secondly, establishes the main driving variables (climate, soil heterogeneity, past land use) of these fluxes, and finally integrates these into a coherent bottom up modelling system that allows determination of the magnitude, variability and uncertainty of the fluxes.

The project is executed within the framework of the BSIK-KvR (BSIK-Climate Changes Spatial Planning) research program

In summary, this project aims to develop and advance the technical capability to measure GHG emissions, to validate and integrate these measurements and finally to develop a sound and Tier 3 compatible monitoring system of GHG emissions.

Our specific objectives are thus:

- To determine the size and variability of coupled GHG gas (CO2, N2O and CH4) emissions related to land use in the Netherlands
- To develop simple, yet physically based parameterisations to link small-scale field studies to regional and national-scale GHG flux estimates and to construct land use related emission factors for Dutch natural and agricultural ecosystems.
- To assess the sensitivity of the coupled GHG fluxes and budgets to land-use change and land-management practice and to identify possibilities for emission reductions by changing land use and land-management practice.
- To develop an accurate and yet economically efficient system to monitor coupled greenhouse gas emissions for the most relevant Dutch natural and agricultural ecosystems.

The Research
The project is a concerted effort to:

(a) consider the emission of CO2, CH4 and N2O jointly,
(b) integrate measurements at different scales,
(c) develop and advance the technical methodology to measure GHG's at the small parcel scale with point measurements, and micrometeorological techniques
(d) validate these methods and agree on common research protocols and thus,
(e) develop a sound and comparable database of GHG emissions conjoined with an in-depth understanding of driving variables, and
(f) measure the direct effects on GHG emissions of manipulating ground water levels in a fen meadow ecosystem

The present research is thus a fully integrated project to measure and analyse GHG emissions and underlying processes. The investigations are stratified at different scales:

driving soil processes, small spatial scale using continuous chamber measurements, and landscape scale by using micrometeorological approaches. Each of these scales has a modelling component allowing integration and comparison of results.

A number of Dutch sites that monitor continuously GHG fluxes and concentrations are part of the Carbo-Europe cluster of stations:

- 1) Cabauw
- 2) Horstermeer
- 3) Langerak
- 4) Loobos

These sites provide a central framework for our research efforts. In addition, other areas of the Netherlands will be identified and included as semi-permanent and quasi-'mobile' sites, Site selection will take into account their potential contribution to GHG flux balances in the Netherlands, based on surface area, size of the carbon pool, and contribution to the GHG budget and sensitivity to changes in the environment. At present, the quasi-'mobile' sites include:

5) Steijn
6) Oukoop
7) Wageningen, Haarweg
8) Langeweg
9) Ludjewad

Abstract (NL)

Binnen dit project zal een efficiƫnt en nauwkeurig monitoringssysteem ontworpen worden voor het bepalen van gekoppelde broeikasgasemissies uit de meest relevante natuurlijke en agrarische ecosystemen in Nederland. De aan landgebruik en management gerelateerde grootte en variabiliteit van de gekoppelde emissies van CO2, N2O en CH4 zal worden bepaald. Hieruit zullen relatief eenvoudige, maar op fysica gebaseerde parametrisaties worden afgeleid waarmee kleine schalen aan grote schalen gekoppeld kunnen worden. Dit project draagt zo in nauwe samenwerking met ME2 en ME3 bij aan de ontwikkeling van een toekomstig Tier-3 rapportagesysteem

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