Codes: M - MA - MM
Site types that use this protocol: Terrestrial

Climate is not constant: records over the last two centuries have shown that both long-term trends and short-term perturbations in climate can occur.  There is concern that human activities may be inadvertently changing the earth's climate through an enhanced 'greenhouse effect', by continuing emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases which will cause the temperature of the earth's surface to increase.  The local impact of these global changes in climate is not yet known.  Climatic conditions, particularly temperature and rainfall, probably provide the most important constraint on ecological processes; a knowledge of long-term changes in climate therefore provides the starting point for any analysis of changes in ecosystem structure and dynamics at a site.

The Meteorology protocol consists of both automatic and manual approaches, as detailed below.

View Meteorology protocol introduction [PDF]

Automatic Weather Stations

Code: MA

All our terrestrial sites collect meteorological (weather) data using automatic weather stations (AWSs). These allow meteorological data to be collected at frequent intervals over long time periods, and are particularly suited to sites that are geographically remote, making manual meteorological recording unfeasible.

View MA protocol [PDF]

Standard (manual) meteorological observations

Code: MM

In common with a large number of sites in the UK, all ECN sites have some historic meteorological data, many of which have been collected to meet the criteria of the Meteorological Office.  Standard meteorological observations are made at many of ECN's sites in order to preserve the continuity of these historic data and to provide calibration and back-up for the ECN automatic weather stations.

View MM protocol [PDF]