ICOS – Integrated Carbon Observation System
Published in 5/1/2021
ICOS – Integrated Carbon Observation System is a research infrastructure that has been born out of European scientific communities’ grand idea of having a consistent, sustained measurement network operating under exactly the same technical and scientific standards to enable high-quality climate change research and increase usability of the research data. Its mission is 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. With its high-precision data, it aims to support policy- and decision-making to combat climate change and its impacts.
The basis of ICOS’s operations is the measurement network that comprises more than 130 standardised stations across Europe which are coordinated and run by the ICOS National Networks. In addition, in the framework of the European Horizon 2020 project RINGO, nine countries are cooperating with ICOS in order to increase their readiness to become members of ICOS ERIC (ICOS European Research Infrastructure Consortium). Portugal is one of those countries and CESAM is currently operating two monitoring stations: one located in the city center of Oporto (urban station) and the other located in the outskirts of Aveiro (suburban station). Both stations are equipped eddy covariance towers for the continuous measurement of energy, water vapor and carbon dioxide fluxes. Monitoring activities at these sites are coordinated by Professor Mário Cerqueira (CESAM-UA).