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ICOS-CH Phase 3

English title ICOS-CH Phase 3
Applicant Buchmann Nina
Number 198227
Funding scheme Research Infrastructure
Research institution Departement Umweltsystemwissenschaften ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Start/End 01.07.2021 - 30.06.2025
Approved amount 4'000'000.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Environmental Research

Keywords (6)

Climate change; greenhouse gas budget; atmosphere; forest ecosystem; Earth system science; International research infrastructure

Lay Summary (German)

ICOS-CH ist der Schweizer Beitrag zur Forschungsinfrastruktur Integrated Carbon Observation System Research Infrastructure (ICOS RI), das 2015 in seine operationelle Phase eingetreten ist. Die übergeordneten Ziele von ICOS RI sind die Quantifizierung des Treibhausgas-(THG)-Budgets des europäischen Kontinents und der angrenzenden Regionen. Dies erfolgt auf Grundlage hoch standardisierter Messungen in der Atmosphäre, in terrestrischen Ökosystemen und im Ozean. Die Daten stehen allen frei zur Verfügung. Seit 2013 beteiligt sich die Schweiz an ICOS RI, und zwar mit dem ICOS-CH-Netzwerk, d.h. ETH Zürich (National Focal Point), Empa, WSL, Universität Bern, Universität Basel und MeteoSchweiz.
Lay summary

In der Phase 3 (2021-2024) verpflichtet sich ICOS-CH, die beiden Standorte Davos (DAV) und Jungfraujoch (JFJ) innerhalb von ICOS RI auf dem Niveau der höchsten Klasse 1 weiterzubetreiben. Der Schweizer Beitrag zu ICOS RI wird innerhalb des Unterprojekts A koordiniert, das auch für die Kommunikation innerhalb und ausserhalb von ICOS-CH zuständig ist. Die Standortinfrastruktur muss vervollständigt (in den Unterprojekten B und C für DAV bzw. JFJ) und verbessert werden. DAV und JFJ werden auf dem Niveau der höchsten Klasse 1 beibehalten und weiterentwickelt, d.h. mit umfassenden Variablensätzen, regelmässigen Messkampagnen, strengen Qualitätsanforderungen, schnellen Reaktionszeiten, falls Sensoren repariert werden müssen, und nahezu Echtzeit-Datenlieferung an ICOS RI. Dies erfordert eine kontinuierliche Datenqualitätssicherung und Qualitätskontrolle durch gut ausgebildetes technisches Personal und DatenwissenschaftlerInnen. Insgesamt bietet ICOS-CH WissenschaftlerInnen eine einzigartige Gelegenheit, herausragende Forschung zu betreiben und zu wissenschaftlichen Innovationen beizutragen. Dies basiert auf kontinuierlichen, hochpräzisen und frei zugänglichen Daten, einem umfassenden Satz von Messungen und einer ausgezeichneten Infrastruktur, die Validierungen für die Forschung im Bereich der Erdsystemwissenschaften ermöglicht.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 30.09.2020

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Project partner

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
192192 Health-relevant components in atmospheric aerosol 01.07.2020 Project funding
183294 QCL4CLUMPS: Simultaneous QC laser spectroscopic analysis of clumped 13C-D and D-D (2 x 2) isotopes in CH4 01.03.2020 R'EQUIP
198094 Unravel the changing contributions of abiotic vs. biotic drivers of ecosystem gas exchange under weather extremes 01.04.2021 COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology)
175503 Beitrag an den Unterhalt und Betrieb der Hochalpinen Forschungsstationen Jungfraujoch und Gornergrat, 2018-2021 01.01.2018 Research Infrastructure
197357 COS and below-canopy CO2 fluxes of two Swiss forests: understanding land-atmosphere ecosystem exchange (COCO) 01.04.2021 Project funding
172433 Reconciling innovative farming practices and networks to enable sustainable development of smart Swiss farming systems 01.01.2018 NRP 73 Sustainable Economy
173691 ICOS-CH Phase 2 01.07.2017 Research Infrastructure
166255 Clumped isotopes as a novel tracer for the N2O cycle 01.09.2016 Project funding
176584 High-resolution QCL frequency comb spectrometer for the detection of trace gases and their isotopes 01.05.2018 Bridge - Discovery
172550 Klima- und Umweltphysik: Isotope im Erdklimasystem (icoCEP) 01.04.2017 Project funding
173691 ICOS-CH Phase 2 01.07.2017 Research Infrastructure
205143 Subsidy for the maintenance and operation of the High Altitude Research Stations Jungfraujoch and Gornergrat, 2022 - 2025 01.01.2022 Research Infrastructure


ICOS-CH is the Swiss contribution to the Integrated Carbon Observation System Research Infrastructure (ICOS RI) which entered its operational phase in 2015. Overarching goals of ICOS RI are to quantify and to understand the greenhouse gas (GHG) budget of the European continent and adjacent regions based on highly standardized measurements in the atmosphere, in terrestrial ecosystems and in the ocean, and to distribute data and data products to stakeholders and user communities. With the ICOS-CH network, i.e. ETH Zurich (National Focal Point), Empa, WSL, University of Bern, University of Basel, and MeteoSwiss, Switzerland participates in ICOS RI since its beginning in 2013.During Phase 2 (2017?2021), the Swiss sites, i.e., the ecosystem site (Davos, DAV) and the atmospheric site (Jungfraujoch, JFJ), both unique within ICOS RI, were upgraded to the highest standards and are now labelled as Class 1 stations. Data have been continuously transferred to the ICOS Carbon Portal and have led to a wealth of knowledge and publications, e.g. about the European summer drought 2018. At DAV, new sensors and set-ups were developed, tested and implemented, including a valve switching system for storage and chamber measurements, near-real time data transfer, detailed tests for digital clock drifts, two back-up streams for meteorological data, and a fully renewed storage profile. Four automated chambers for forest floor GHG fluxes are now operational. Intensive soil and vegetation surveys were conducted, including manual geo-referencing of 1400 trees. At JFJ, additional ICOS compliant equipment was implemented and tested, and is now fully operational. Further ICOS RI reference gases were integrated, and sampling and calibration strategies were adapted. Observations of CO2 concentrations and their isotope ratios were continued, and the ICOS RI flask sampling system was tested. N2O and O2 concentrations were continuously measured, and the planetary boundary layer (PBL) height determined. PBL retrieval algorithms were developed and are currently being tested at other ICOS sites. The whole ICOS-CH consortium was highly active in dissemination and outreach to science, stakeholders and society.In Phase 3 (2021-2024), ICOS-CH commits to maintain DAV and JFJ at Class 1 level and to extend the existing network with an urban site, in response to the scientific demand for reliable measurements of the most dynamic land cover globally, and in accordance with the ICOS RI Strategy. The Swiss contribution to ICOS RI will be coordinated within Subproject A, also responsible for communication within and beyond ICOS-CH. Site infrastructure needs to be completed (in Subprojects B and C for DAV and JFJ, respectively) and upgraded (in Subproject D for Basel (BKLI)). DAV and JFJ will be maintained at Class 1 level, and BKLI developed as Associated Site, i.e., with comprehensive variable sets, regular measurement campaigns, stringent quality requirements, fast response times should sensors need repair, and near real-time data provision to ICOS RI. This requires continuous data quality assurance and quality control by well-trained technical staff and data scientists. Overall, ICOS-CH provides a unique opportunity for scientists to contribute to outstanding research and scientific innovations based on continuous, high-precision and open-access data, a comprehensive set of measurements, and an excellent infrastructure that provides on-site validations for research related to Earth system science.