A new research infrastructure to decipher the greenhouse gas balance of Europe and adjacent regions
The synergy between the atmospheric concentration measurements on the one hand and the knowledge of local ecosystem fluxes on the other hand, has shown effective in reducing the uncertainties on carbon assessments. However, in Europe, observatories are all managed differently for each country and data is not homogenously processed.
The added value of the infrastructure is an enhanced visibility and standardization of European greenhouse gas measurements and products that are both long-term and carefully calibrated. ICOS seeks to meet the data needs of carbon cycle and climate researchers as well as those of decision makers and the general public. ICOS will serve as the backbone to users engaged in developing data assimilation models of greenhouse gas sources and sinks, namely inverse modelling, which allows infering surface carbon flux pattern.
An ICOS data portal, the Carbon Portal, will provide free access to ICOS data, as well as to links with inventory data, elaborated products derived from ICOS data as well as outreach material. This portal will offer access to web based products and tools for the survey of sources and sinks. ICOS will deliver the information in near real time with a quantification of the uncertainty associated with the results due to the use of several different models using different methodologies.
ICOS will enable Europe to be a key global player for in situ observations of greenhouse gases, data processing and user-friendly access to data products for validation of remote sensing products, scientific assessments, modeling and data assimilation.