Constraining the Oceanic Uptake and Fluxes of Greenhouse Gases by Building an Ocean Network of Certified Stations: The Ocean Component of the Integrated Carbon Observation System, ICOS-Oceans

Tobias Steinhoff, Thanos Gkritzalis, Siv K. Lauvset, Steve Jones, Ute Schuster, Are Olsen, Meike Becker, Roberto Bozzano, Fabio Brunetti, Carolina Cantoni, Vanessa Cardin, Denis Diverres, Bjoern Fiedler, Agneta Fransson, Michele Giani, Sue Hartman, Mario Hoppema, Emil Jeansson, Truls Johannessen, Vassilis KitidisArne Koertzinger, Camilla Landa, Nathalie Lefevre, Anna Luchetta, Lieven Naudts, Philip D. Nightingale, Abdirahman M. Omar, Sara Pensieri, Benjamin Pfeil, Rocio Castano-Primo, Gregor Rehder, Anna Rutgersson, Richard Sanders, Ingo Schewe, Giuseppe Siena, Ingunn Skjelvan, Thomas Soltwedel, Steven van Heuven, Andrew Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
161 Downloads (Pure)


The European Research Infrastructure Consortium "Integrated Carbon Observation System" (ICOS) aims at delivering high quality greenhouse gas (GHG) observations and derived data products (e.g., regional GHG-flux maps) for constraining the GHG balance on a European level, on a sustained long-term basis. The marine domain (ICOS-Oceans) currently consists of 11 Ship of Opportunity lines (SOOP - Ship of Opportunity Program) and 10 Fixed Ocean Stations (FOSs) spread across European waters, including the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans and the Barents, North, Baltic, and Mediterranean Seas. The stations operate in a harmonized and standardized way based on community-proven protocols and methods for ocean GHG observations, improving operational conformity as well as quality control and assurance of the data. This enables the network to focus on long term research into the marine carbon cycle and the anthropogenic carbon sink, while preparing the network to include other GHG fluxes. ICOS data are processed on a near real-time basis and will be published on the ICOS Carbon Portal (CP), allowing monthly estimates of CO2 air-sea exchange to be quantified for European waters. ICOS establishes transparent operational data management routines following the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) guiding principles allowing amongst others reproducibility, interoperability, and traceability. The ICOS-Oceans network is actively integrating with the atmospheric (e.g., improved atmospheric measurements onboard SOOP lines) and ecosystem (e.g., oceanic direct gas flux measurements) domains of ICOS, and utilizes techniques developed by the ICOS Central Facilities and the CP. There is a strong interaction with the international ocean carbon cycle community to enhance interoperability and harmonize data flow. The future vision of ICOS-Oceans includes ship-based ocean survey sections to obtain a three-dimensional understanding of marine carbon cycle processes and optimize the existing network design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number544
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages16
JournalFrontiers in Marine Science
Publication statusPublished - 3-Sept-2019


  • ocean observation
  • network design
  • CO2 fluxes
  • flux maps
  • carbon sink
  • CO2
  • SEA
  • SINK

Cite this