Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) is a European Research Infrastructure for quantifying and understanding of the greenhouse gas balance of the European continent and of adjacent regions. The preparatory phase of ICOS started in 2008. The operational phase started in 2013 and continues until 2031. ICOS-EU head office will be located in Finland and hosted together with France.
The mission of ICOS is to provide the long-term atmospheric and flux observations required to understand the present state and predict future behaviour of the global carbon cycle and greenhouse gas emissions to monitor and assess the effectiveness of carbon sequestration or greenhouse gases emission reduction activities on global atmospheric composition levels, including attribution of sources and sinks by region and sector set new standards for research instrumentation, measuring protocols and data processing ICOS consists of national measuring stations, thematic centres focused on different aspects of atmospheric, ecosystem and aquatic studies and the top level organisation, ICOS-EU, which is coordinating the infrastructure.