Remedy 3: Create a database of in-situ vertical profiles of CO2, CH4, and CO with sufficient spatiotemporal coverage, possibly as part of the ICOS RI.

Primary gap remedy type: 
Secondary gap remedy type: 
Proposed remedy description: 

To enable a regular and network-wide calibration of remote sensing measurements (ground-based FTIR), the community needs access to a database of in-situ vertical profiles from regular airborne observations at different locations in Europe and beyond – in which the in-situ observations are calibrated against a commonly adopted standard (e.g., the WMO standard). This requires a sufficient capacity of well-calibrated airborne sensors and sufficient spiral flight opportunities close to the ground-based FTIR observatories (see remedies 1 and 2) from which to constitute such a database. In fact, this capacity should be part of the ICOS Research Infrastructure, to make it sustainable and fulfil the specific needs of the ICOS and ICOS-user communities. Hence, the proposed remedy is to create a database of in-situ vertical profiles of CO2, CH4 and CO with sufficient spatiotemporal coverage to calibrate FTIR profile information.


The remedy will contribute to the network-wide, more cost-effective calibration- making it consistent with the in-situ networks. This is very relevant for the ICOS RI and the Copernicus services (CAMS and C3S).

Measurable outcome of success: 

The availability of an increased number of calibrated, in-situ vertical profile data of greenhouse gases with good spatiotemporal coverage would contribute to the next, improved version of the FTIR retrievals and to a better assessment of the seasonal cycle. It will lower the biases between sites in the network, and improve the consistency with surface in-situ measurements of the greenhouse gases as carried out in ICOS.

Expected viability for the outcome of success: 
  • High
Scale of work: 
  • Consortium
Time bound to remedy: 
  • Less than 5 years
Indicative cost estimate (investment): 
  • Medium cost (< 5 million)
Potential actors: 
  • EU H2020 funding
  • Copernicus funding
  • National funding agencies
  • WMO
  • ESA, EUMETSAT or other space agency
  • Academia, individual research institutes
  • National measurement institutes