The headquarters of the Europe-wide Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) will be located in Finland. The decision was made at an ICOS conference in Paris.
ICOS is a network of researchers and research stations set up to monitor the concentration, release and sequestration of greenhouse gases. ICOS comprises national measuring stations and a co-ordinating umbrella organisation, which will now operate out of Finland. The headquarters, to be established in connection with the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), are expected to begin operations in 2013.
The Finnish ICOS partners are FMI, the University of Helsinki and the University of Eastern Finland. Petteri Taalas, Director General of FMI, is Chair of ICOS’s interim council.
— ICOS aims to monitor the carbon cycle in the atmosphere as well as the sequestration of carbon in the ecosystem and the seas. This will give us information not only on the change in the carbon balance and the share of emissions in this change, but also on how the capacity of forests and seas to act as carbon sinks changes as the climate changes, Taalas explains.
The measuring station network encompasses some 50 observation sites located in 15 European countries. The stations will be operated under the direction of the Finnish headquarters. ICOS also works in close co-operation with a similar network in the US.
The future headquarters of ICOS will be funded by the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, and the French government.