The Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) is a distributed Research Infrastructure to facilitate research on carbon cycle and to provide necessary information on greenhouse gases (GHG). ICOS conducts long-term observations in the atmosphere, ecosystems, and oceans, and generates high-precision and stardardised data to monitor the present state and extrapolate the future behaviour of the global carbon cycle and GHG fluxes in order to predict environment changes and mitigate their impacts. ICOS helps to elaborate an account of the Earth system and its response to climate change and other environmental challenges. ICOS advances the fulfilment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the European Union’s Societal Challenges, especially those concerning climate change.
Entered the ESFRI Roadmap in 2006, ICOS established the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) in 2015. The basis of ICOS’s operations is the measurement network that comprises more than 140 standardised stations organised in three distinct domains – Atmosphere, Ecosystem and Ocean – to observe greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere as well as carbon fluxes between the atmosphere, the land surface and the oceans. The stations are coordinated and run by the ICOS National Networks, representing 13 Member countries and one Observer country. Overall, ICOS community consists of more than 500 scientists in Europe and beyond. More than 80 renowned universities or institutes are a part of the ICOS community which has also strong connections to colleagues and operators outside academia.