LIFE MONIMET - Climate change indicators and vulnerability of boreal zone applying innovative observation and modeling techniques

LIFE12 ENV/FI/000409

Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version  

Contact details:

Contact person: Ali Nadir Arslan
Tel: 358503203386
Fax: 358919294604
Email: ali.nadir.arslan@fmi.fi

Project description:


The extent of climate change is dependent on the atmospheric load of the two most powerful greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). The terrestrial biosphere plays an important role in the global carbon balance, and boreal forests and peatlands are an important part of the global carbon cycle. The future development of carbon and water balances and their relationship to climate change in boreal zones, however,are currently poorly understood. Such knowledge gaps are particularly acute at regional level, and obtaining accurate figures of country-based carbon balances and their future development is a challenge. Climate change indicators are simple ways of presenting difficult information to the public. In order to map the climate change indicators related to boreal ecosystems, versatile observational and modelling tools must be used.


The LIFE MONIMET project aimed to fill in knowledge gaps and better understand the future development of carbon and water balances and their relationship to climate change in boreal zones. It would increase knowledge of a regions vulnerability by implementing an innovative approach to in-situ monitoring and mapping of climate change indicators that have an influence on the mitigation potential and vulnerability estimates of boreal forests and peatlands. The approach is based on a combination of different information sources describing phenology, CO2 and CH4 exchange, land cover, snow evolution and albedo. The information sources would include in-situ observations and Earth Observation (EO) satellite data, as well as ancillary data supporting vulnerability assessments. Dedicated high-resolution regional models would be applied to describe climate and land surface fluxes of carbon and water by different ecosystems.

Actions planned to achieve these objectives included:

  • collecting information, data and expertise spread over several institutes, in order to build a comprehensive platform for analysing climate change effects on seasonal dynamics of various phenomena;
  • establishing links and adding value to existing monitoring mechanisms such as Integrated Carbon Observing Systems (ICOS) and EO systems (Global Monitoring for Environment & Security - GMES) and making use of data acquired in previous LIFE-funded projects and other projects related to ecosystem monitoring;
  • creating a new webcam monitoring system in order to facilitate EO systems by providing time-series of field observations for calibration and validation, as well as to improve the assessment of forest ecosystem services;
  • synthesising modelling and observation approaches to identify climate indicators; and
  • linking the climate change indicators and their effects in order to create vulnerability maps of boreal zones in connection to climate change scenarios.


The LIFE MONIMET project established a web camera monitoring network, whereby images collected phenological data from Finnish boreal forests and wetlands (a programme that automatically analyses the images was developed.) The beneficiaries installed a total of 28 web cameras on 15 locations in Finland. The results show that the cameras are able to detect green of deciduous trees, peatlands and under-storey vegetation. The detection of green is a phenological feature that provides information about the changes in season.

The data was compared to GHG fluxes on Scots pine and wetland ecosystems, and was made available to the public online. Additionally, already available data and information was collected from various public institutions, and climate scenarios were developed based on this information, climate change indicators extracted and ecosystem services analysed. The vulnerability analysis was also made available as interactive maps.

Another main outcome of the web camera network installment relates to the insight into forest ecosystem services that it allows. The project team was able to carry out spatially representative monitoring of vegetative processes and their change over time. Activities also included the design and harmonisation of webcam networks across Finland and the creation of a continuous, long-term webcam monitoring system a vital tool for understanding climate change. The project has therefore contributed to the implementation of the European Climate Change Programme and the EU COPERNICUS Programme, which aims to build European capacity for Earth Observation. It moreover contributed to the objectives of ICOS infrastructure, which is a long term (20+ years) initiative for quantifying and understanding the greenhouse balance of Europe and adjacent regions. Data provided by the established camera monitoring system, remote sensing and flux measurements with different carbon cycle models are important for environmental policy and legislation, including the integration of the environment into other policies.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Risk management - Risk assessment and monitoring
Climate change Adaptation - Natural resources and ecosystems


sensitive area‚  modelling‚  monitoring system‚  indicator‚  greenhouse gas

Target EU Legislation

  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • COM(2013)216 - EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change (16.04.2013)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Ilmatieteen laitos
Type of organisation Research institution
Description The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) is part of the national government’s Ministry of Transport and Communications. The FMI’s mandate includes information provision relating to atmospheric conditions as well as airborne hazards.
Partners Metsäntutkimuslaitos, Finland Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Finland Helsingin yliopisto, Finland


Project reference LIFE12 ENV/FI/000409
Duration 02-SEP-2013 to 01-SEP -2017
Total budget 2,755,288.00 €
EU contribution 1,366,952.00 €
Project location Uusimaa(Finland Suomi) Varsinais-Suomi(Finland Suomi) Satakunta(Finland Suomi) Häme(Finland Suomi) Pirkanmaa(Finland Suomi) Päijät-Häme(Finland Suomi) Kymenlaakso(Finland Suomi) Etelä-Karjala(Finland Suomi) Etelä-Savo(Finland Suomi) Pohjois-Savo(Finland Suomi) Pohjois-Karjala(Finland Suomi) Kainuu(Finland Suomi) Keski-Suomi(Finland Suomi) Etelä-Pohjanmaa(Finland Suomi) Vaasan rannikkoseutu(Finland Suomi) Keski-Pohjanmaa(Finland Suomi) Pohjois-Pohjanmaa(Finland Suomi) Lappi(Finland Suomi) Ahvenanmaa/Åland(Finland Suomi) Baltic Sea Suomi (SF)(Finland Suomi)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version