As the science and knowledge service of the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to support EU policies with independent evidence throughout the whole policy cycle.
The JRC's Institute for Environment and Sustainability currently operates one forest flux tower in San Rossore (Pisa) to continuously monitor ecosystem fluxes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and a whole set of ancillary meteorological and soil parameters.
Measurements of fluxes of GHGs in San Rossore, a park with a typical Mediterranean pine forest, began in 1998. The site is designed for the long-term monitoring of the ecosystem budget of carbon and GHGs. Due to the large size and uniformity of the forest and the favourable wind circulation (sea breeze), the measurements of turbulent fluxes at the site are of high quality and qualify the station as one of the most reliable for the estimation of net ecosystem productivity.
The data series produced so far are included in the European Fluxes Database Cluster  and FLUXNET , and have been used in a series of synthesis papers dealing with the trends and inter-annual variability of the ecosystem carbon budget.
Operational since late 2007, the GHG monitoring station can be characterised as a semi-rural valley station. It is the only low-altitude measurement site for GHGs close to the highly industrialised and densely populated Po Valley area of northern Italy.
The station is an important complement to the European monitoring network, which is still relatively sparse in southern Europe. In particular, it provides valuable information on GHG emissions from the Po Valley area. In addition to the use of these measurements for the inverse modelling of GHG emissions, parallel Radon (222Rn) measurements were added in 2008 in order to allow model-independent estimates of regional GHG emissions.
A monitoring station for continuous high-accuracy measurements of the concentrations of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6, and CO has been established by the JRC's Institute for Environment and Sustainability at the Ispra site.