Future of ocean sciences for sustainable Earth: Observations from OceanObs’19


The Ocean Observations Conference (OceanObs) meets once in a decade to discuss the future and development needs of ocean science. At OceanObs’19, 149 Community White Papers highlighted the complexity of ocean observations, and especially the need for integrated, coherent and distributed approach, considering the processes under study that varies from very small to broad areas, and from very short to long time scales.

Director’s Corner - Politics cannot ignore physics


Yesterday morning the prime minister of the German state Sachsen-Anhalt, Reiner Haseloff gave an interview in the German radio (Deutschlandfunk, here the interview in German) and made when asked about the coal-fired power plants in this state a striking remark: “Politics cannot ignore physics” (“Erst mal muss man sagen, an der Physik kommt auch Politik nicht vorbei”).

Director’s Corner - Paris, Pittsburgh and Nairobi


It was a strange situation: we were driving through a remote village in Kenya when Klaus suddenly read from the news that Trump had announced the US was leaving the Paris agreement with the words “Pittsburgh is more important than Paris.” Well, the mayors of Pittsburgh and Paris have already commented on this

Director’s Corner - Ambitions


During the last weeks, the ICOS Community had two project-related events that have severe impact on our strategy. We kicked off a new Horizon 2020 project to further develop our Research Infrastructure entitled ‘Readiness of ICOS for Necessities of Integrated Global Observations’ (RINGO). Readiness means in this context that ICOS has to prepare itself strategically for future observational demands coming from different levels - from UNFCCC, but also from national and sub-national levels.

Happy birthday, ICOS ERIC!


Today you are one year old and interestingly this reminds me of those days some 27 years ago when my first son had his first birthday. Conrad had done his first steps a few days before and this exciting time of rapid development was going to start.



At the beginning of July the General Assembly of ICOS ERIC has approved the application of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to become member of ICOS ERIC.

I cordially welcome our UK colleagues. UK is the twelfth country cooperating within ICOS. Scientists from the UK have excellently contributed to our scientific field.

The UK is an important and ambitious country in the mitigation of climate change. UK’s GHG emissions (excl. LULUCF) were reduced by 34.3 % between 1990 and 2014 (EEA 2016). This is 10 % more than the European average.

ICOS RI Blog - Official station labeling well under way


With the inauguration of ICOS ERIC in November 2015 the official station labeling process of the ICOS stations has been initiated and site Principal Investigator for CH-DAV Lukas Hörtnagl was the first ecosystem station PI who applied to become an official ICOS station.

Trust but verify


Trust but verify: Towards a comprehensive Global Observation, Information and Verification System on Greenhouse Gases



Reading it black on white is just wonderful:

“COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION (EU) 2015/2097 of 26 October 2015 on setting up the Integrated Carbon Observation System European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ICOS ERIC)”

This means that 9 European countries have united to build a long-term research infrastructure on greenhouse gases and achieved a legal form for this. It also means that we have finalized a 10 years construction process that needed patience, diplomacy and the will to compromise. The result shows how strong and resilient the ICOS community is.

Director's Corner - On the final lap


Whoever has run a long-distance race knows that the final lap is very special: you see the line and although exhausted from the long way behind, you mobilize all remaining power for the finish. On 1st September we entered the final lap on our long-distance race for ICOS ERIC: the European Commission and the national governments of eight founding countries agreed on a final version of the statutes of ICOS ERIC which were then given to the translation process into all official EU languages. In a few weeks we can expect a written procedure by the Commission to put ICOS ERIC into place.