The Norwegian branch of ICOS is finally opened

ICOS Norway and the Ocean Thematic Centre are now officially started, as part of the large European network for greenhouse gas monitoring.


By Andreas R. Graven

(Credit: ICOS-OTC)


ICOS Norway and the Ocean Thematic Centre was today opened at a ceremony in the University Aula in Bergen on Monday.

ICOS Norway is the Norwegian branch of the European research infrastructure ICOS RI with one of the central facility Ocean Thematic Centre (OTC) located in Bergen, Norway, hosted by Uni Research in collaboration with the University of Bergen joint in the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the UK.

The Research Council of Norway has rewarded a generous grant to upgrade the Norwegian research infrastructure for observing carbon uptake in the ocean, on land and in the atmosphere, and to establish and coordinate OTC on a European scale.

The main objective of ICOS is to produce high quality data and to provide a network design that can assess to the GHG emission on a country level and confirm if COP21 agreements are meet by the individual countries.

– ICOS Norway and the OTC will provide valuable information for policy makers, the research community and society to consider. But the ICOS Norway and the OTC is also strategically of great significance for climate research in Bergen, Aina Berg, Managing Director at Uni Research says.

– Finally the ICOS Norway and the OTC became reality, we started to work on this in 2008 and finally we can harvest the seed from our focused and dedicated work, a professor Truls Johannessen, the happy director of the Ocean Thematic Centre says.

ICOS – the Integrated Carbon Observing System – is a European monitoring network for  greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, on land and in the ocean. Norway contributes with two atmospheric stations, one terrestric station and four stations for marine observations, and the Ocean Thematic Centre (OTC), were the marine data from the European observational stations will be analysed, quality controlled and a consistent measurement system will be developed.

Data from the ICOS measurements are available via the ICOS Carbon Portal

ICOS Norway will implement a long-term research infrastructure that will provide precise data on, and integrated assessments of, the Norwegian carbon balance at regional scale, across land, ocean and atmosphere

The ICOS network include measurements in the atmosphere, on land and in the oceans, were observational stations are scattered throughout Europe. Atmospheric measurements are analysed in France, the land-based measurements are based in Italy and Belgium, while the marine data will be analysed in the new Ocean Thematic Center (OTC) in Bergen, Norway, in collaboration with UK and Germany.  

The network was established to secure a sustained greenhouse gas observation system. Despite a huge amount of research and data on greenhouse data, the data have often been scattered and difficult to reach and to access.

In ICOS Norway researchers at CICERO, NIVA, NERSC, SKOG and LANDSKAP and BIOFORSK collaborate. 


English translation by Gudrun Sylte


April 11, 2016, 11:57 a.m.