The Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (GCRI) is a public research institution located in Brno. It is a European centre of excellence investigating the ongoing global change and its impact on the atmosphere, biosphere and human society using the latest techniques and instrumentation.
GCRI is the successor institution of the Global Change Research Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, p. r. i, and so, its activities continue in the 25-year long tradition of basic research on global change and the carbon cycle. Most of the modern science and research infrastructure (atmospheric station, network of ecosystem stations, airborne remote sensing laboratory, systems of long-term impact experiments, central physiological, isotopic and metabolomic plant laboratory) was built from the EU funds within the CzechGlobe project.
The subject of multidisciplinary research is in particular the development of the climate and its future scenarios, the carbon cycle and the impacts of changing conditions on production and the biodiversity of ecosystems, and the impact on society's development and behaviour. Activities aimed at developing innovative technological processes, proposals for adaptation measures and educational activities form an integral part of CzechGlobe.
GCRI participates on the ACTRIS-CZ infrastructure through the Department of Atmospheric Matter Fluxes and Long-range Transport, which is one of several scientific teams of the institute. This department is responsible for the provision and exploitation of measurements carried out on the atmospheric mast (also the Křešín Atmospheric Station near Pacov). The department's scientific strategy is to investigate the relationship between climate change and air quality, based on the study of physical-chemical properties and the concentration of particulates and gases in the air playing a crucial role in both of these phenomena.
These measurements are supported by parallel monitoring of meteorological elements. The set of monitored parameters was defined to reflect the scientific needs of the Department in the study of common aspects of climate change and air quality: (a) determination of sources of substances affecting both radiation balance and air quality, (b) study of the fate of substances in the air relevant to both the climate change and air quality, and (c) possible changes in the fate of persistent substances in the environment in response to climate change and meteorological conditions.
The activities of the department also focus on technical development of monitoring of selected chemical substances, physical-chemical properties of aerosols and meteorological parameters, technical development of sampling, validation of data, provision and verification of the quality of measurements, and adaptation of general standard operating procedures where it is required by specific measurements carried out on the atmospheric mast.
Within the ACTRIS-CZ project, GCRI focuses on the study of the optical properties of atmospheric aerosols and the content of elemental and organic carbon by ground measurements. The planned research activity is to extend the study of vertical aerosol flows (using the eddy covariance method modified for aerosols) and to measure the vertical concentration gradient of aerosols. The main objective is to add aerosol particles at higher altitudes to existing aerosol readings located on the ground. The planned modernization of the instruments currently in use will allow implementation of new research themes (e.g. the introduction of a vertical sampling design using 250 m high mast). This will allow the development of aerosol transport studies taking into account also the dynamics of the boundary layer of the atmosphere.