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Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS)


The project Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) is a European infrastructure for coordinated, integrated, long-term high-quality observational data of the greenhouse balance of Europe. ICOS is designed to create the scientific backbone for a better understanding and quantification of greenhouse gas sources and sinks and their feedback with climate change.

On 24 November 2015 ICOS ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) was officially launched by the European Commission. The ICOS RI has successfully completed almost a decade long process from entering the European Commission ESFRI Roadmap to establishment of the ICOS ERIC. The ICOS ERIC has been established with eight founding members: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Finland. Switzerland has an observer country status.


  • To provide the long-term observations required to understand the present state and predict future behavior of the global carbon cycle and greenhouse gas emissions
  • To monitor and assess the effectiveness of carbon sequestration and/or greenhouse gases emission reduction activities on global atmospheric composition levels, including attribution of sources and sinks by region and sector