Beech forests are our friends in the climate crisis but suffer under drought and heat

Measurements from the past 27 years show that Nature’s ecosystem services and good biodiversity remove CO2 from the atmosphere, thus reducing the effect of carbon emissions. However, it is also clear that ecosystem services are affected by higher temperatures and drought, i.e. climate change.

Sorø målestation. Foto: Kim Pilegaard
 The measuring station in Sorø. Photo: Kim Pilegaard


  • The measuring station in the beech forest in Sorø is the third-longest serving station in the world, surpassed only by stations in Massachusetts and Sweden.
  • The measurements of the exchange of carbon dioxide between the ecosystem and the atmosphere are made every half hour. Other factors such as humidity, temperature, wind speed, radiation, soil water content, soil temperature, etc. are also measured, all of which have an impact on the ecosystem and its services.
  • All the data is available to the public and is downloaded three times a day, on average. The data is used by scientists from all over the world for analyses, modelling, etc.
  • The long data series is invaluable to the research, as it would be impossible to detect the changes, e.g. in connection with the 2018 drought, without data from the previous years for comparison.
Statistik over downloads fra målestation i Sorø

Data from the measuring station in Sorø has always been fully publicly available.
Data is downloaded three times a day.

Above are download statistics.

The sources for download:

ICOS-CP: The Integrated Carbon Observation System, ICOS, is a European-wide greenhouse gas research infrastructure. ICOS Data Portal provides observational data and eloborated products on greenhouse gases.

FLUXNET is an international “network of networks,” tying together regional networks of earth system scientists.

UNITUS: A data repository at the University of Tuscia (Italy) for greenhouse gas exchange data collected during various EU-funded projects before the establishment of ICOS.


Special topic

The focus on biodiversity has increased sharply. Plant and animal species are threatened with extinction and many researchers describe the biodiversity crisis as the worst crisis facing humanity.

Biodiversity includes all life on the planet - in water and on land. This means animals, plants, fungi, bacteria and the ecosystems where plants and animals live, e.g. a forest or a lake.

At DTU, we work particularly with biodiversity in water.

Read more in our special topic about biodiversity


Andreas Ibrom

Andreas Ibrom Associate Professor Department of Environmental and Resource Engineering Mobile: +45 21325201

Kim Pilegaard

Kim Pilegaard Professor Emeritus Department of Environmental and Resource Engineering Mobile: +45 40256839