In June 2022, the WMO Executive Council decided to develop an architecture for a global Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Infrastructure.
You can find the text of the EC-75 decision here.
The proposed Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Infrastructure will establish an internationally coordinated approach to observing network design, and to acquisition, international exchange and use of the resulting observations. It will engage and closely collaborate with both the broader scientific community, and other UN agencies and international coordination entities such as GCOS, CEOS, CGMS, GEO, and IOC/GOOS) involved in GHG monitoring activities, in particular regarding land surface and ocean observation and modeling.
The proposed Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Infrastructure will build on and expand WMO’s long-standing activities in GHG monitoring, implemented as part of the Global Atmosphere Watch, and via its Integrated Global Greenhouse Gas Information System.
Fostering Collaboration Among All Data Providers
Several countries and international organizations have been investing in greenhouse gas monitoring activities, and the need for better coordination was recognized already several years ago. In 2010, a broad group of prominent GHG scientists thus developed the GEO Carbon Strategy, which included a proposed Integrated Global Carbon Observing system. However, at the international level, implementation of the concepts put forth in the GEO Carbon Strategy has made only limited progress so far.
A concerted, internationally coordinated effort which incorporates all existing capabilities, both space-based and surface-based observing systems, and model systems, is required to allow these to complement and leverage each other for maximum overall impact.
Improving our Understanding of the Carbon Cycle
The GHG monitoring infrastructure will help improve understanding of the carbon cycle.
Provision of the globally consistent, gridded information on greenhouse gases and their fluxes with appropriate time resolution will help in improved evaluation of sources and sinks of greenhouse gases and indicate their association with the biosphere, the ocean and the permafrost areas.
Understanding the full carbon cycle is vitally important for the planning of mitigation activities. ”The global carbon cycle determines the amount of carbon dioxide and methane that accumulates in the atmosphere, increasing the Earth’s greenhouse effect. It is therefore a key component of the global climate system. The carbon cycle also responds to climate change, and understanding the ability of the carbon cycle to continue to act as a partial sink of fossil fuel emissions into the future will be a vital factor in determining the “allowable” fossil fuel emissions, while keeping concentration below certain levels” (GEO Carbon Strategy).
Supporting the UNFCCC Processes
The system will provide sustained delivery of consolidated, top-down, monthly, global estimates of net GHG fluxes into and out of the atmosphere at a 100 by 100 km resolution. This will provide critical and timely input to the:
•Work programme for urgently scaling up mitigation ambition and implementation;
•IPCC Assessment Reports;
•Enhanced Transparency Framework;
International coordination on methodology, protocols for data processing, data exchange and intercomparison, and agreement on free and unrestricted access to both input and output data is essential to ensuring transparency, as required by the Paris Agreement