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Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS)

The Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) is a European Research Infrastructure with the mission to produce standardised, high-precision and long-term observations and facilitate research to understand the carbon cycle and to provide necessary information on greenhouse gases.

Global concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHG) like methane and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere are increasing, as global biogeochemical cycles are massively disturbed by humans. Global climate changes resulting from this increase are one of the greatest challenges facing the world today. Therefore, climate policy measures shall support the mitigation of the GHG emission and thereby reduce the negative effects of the climate change. The success of actions depends, among other things, on the continuous delivery of new data that can help gain a better understanding of biogeochemical processes and confirm their interaction with the global climate through independent measurements. Long-term, precise and internationally comparable observations are essential tools for improving the knowledge about these complex interactions between the climate on the one hand and biosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere on the other hand. It is a perfect investment to avoid surprises and to reduce uncertainty about the future.

The Chair of Environmental Meteorology at the University of Freiburg is a member of the German ICOS-D consortium and operates the Hartheim Forest Research Site, an Associated Ecosystem Station in the Upper Rhine Valley. ICOS-D is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

Researchers and technicians involved