ICOS pCO2 instrument intercomparison exercise to be held in Ostend | Compendium Coast and Sea

ICOS pCO2 instrument intercomparison exercise to be held in Ostend

Within the framework of climate change it is of key importance to monitor the Earth's greenhouse gas balance. Long-term, continuous observations of concentrations and fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and terrestrial and ocean ecosystems are most important in understanding this all. ICOS – an international organisation of twelve European member countries in charge of 130 measurement stations – aims at quantifying and understanding the greenhouse gas balance of Europe and neighboring regions. To measure concentrations of CO2 in the ocean surface and sub-surface waters, a whole new generation of sensors and instruments entered the market in recent years. An intercomparison of all these systems seemed necessary to the Ocean Thematic Centre (OTC) of the European research infrastructure ICOS (in full: Integrated Carbon Observation System). Hence, all interested scientists, operators and manufacturers of pCO2 sensors are kindly invited to participate in the first intercomparison exercise of ocean pCO2 instruments, held between 24 August and 4 September 2020 at the Flanders Marine Institute VLIZ in Ostend, Belgium.

Aims of the intercomparison exercise

The aim of the exercise is not only to compare different instrumentation, but also to improve the handling of instrumentation and of data, in order to achieve the best possible measurement quality being delivered. More specifically:

  • to compare the performance of instruments and sensors that are (or will be) used within the ICOS community over a range of temperatures and pCO2 levels.
  • to engage instrument suppliers and manufacturers to work together with the observational community to reach a high level of standardization in operating pCO2 sensors and instruments.
  • to give answers to the community of choosing the appropriate sensor for their application.

A tentative description of the intercomparison exercise, which will be amended through community input can be found on the ICOS OTC website.


Tobias Steinhoff
E-mail: tost@norceresearch.no

If you are interested in the inter-comparison, please sign up to the e-mail list here.