Radiation measurements at ICOS ecosystem stations

Open access

Abstract

Solar radiation is a key driver of energy and carbon fluxes in natural ecosystems. Radiation measurements are essential for interpreting ecosystem scale greenhouse gases and energy fluxes as well as many other observations performed at ecosystem stations of the Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS). We describe and explain the relevance of the radiation variables that are monitored continuously at ICOS ecosystem stations and define recommendations to perform these measurements with consistent and comparable accuracy. The measurement methodology and instruments are described including detailed technical specifications. Guidelines for instrumental set up as well as for operation, maintenance and data collection are defined considering both ICOS scientific objectives and practical operational constraints. For measurements of short-wave (solar) and long wave (infrared) radiation components, requirements for the ICOS network are based on available well-defined state-of-the art standards (World Meteorological Organization, International Organization for Standardization). For photosynthetically active radiation measurements, some basic instrumental requirements are based on the performance of commercially available sensors. Since site specific conditions and practical constraints at individual ICOS ecosystem stations may hamper the applicability of standard requirements, we recommend that ICOS develops mid-term coordinated actions to assess the effective level of uncertainties in radiation measurements at the network scale.

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