Carbon Observation network (ICOS) gains Landmark distinctionICOS, the Integrated Carbon Observation System, will be launched as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) this year. The mission of ICOS is to enable research to quantify and understand the greenhouse gas budgets of Europe and adjacent regions. It provides long-term atmospheric observations and aims at predicting future behavior of the global carbon cycle as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
ICOS now received an important distinction by ESFRI, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures in Brussels. ICOS was highlighted as a Landmark on the 2016 roadmap, based on scientific excellence and the crucial contribution to European research. This distinction will strengthen the international partnerships in the field of greenhouse gas monitoring. ESFRI serves as a strategic instrument to foster the international scientific integration of Europe; the 2016 list of ESFRI Landmarks will include 27 research infrastructures.
Besides organizing national networks of atmospheric, ecosystem and marine stations across Europe and the North Atlantic, ICOS maintains central facilities responsible for the measurement protocols, standardizing instrumentation and high precision measurements. One of two German central analytical laboratories is the Flask and Calibration Laboratory (FCL) in Jena, set up by the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry. The laboratory performs high precision analysis of greenhouse gases and related tracers in air samples from ICOS stations and assures calibrated field measurements by providing calibration gases. Additionally, FCL is engaged in scientific development of analytical methods and instrumentation.