The ocean covers more than two thirds of the earth surface and absorbs approximately 25 percent of the human-originated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the air. The deep ocean stores about 60 times more CO2 than the atmosphere. Therefore, the ocean is a critical factor damping the effect of human CO2-emissions. The emissions affect marine carbon cycling and consequently marine life. The increase of carbon dioxide decreases the potential of Hydrogen (pH) in the ocean, which will lead to ocean acidification.
The network of ICOS ocean stations monitor greenhouse gases in the Atlantic and the Nordic, Baltic and Mediterranean Seas. The data collected at the ocean stations are processed and quality controlled by the Ocean Thematic Centre, which coordinates the network of ocean stations.