WMO endorses new global greenhouse gas monitoring infrastructure


New Delhi:The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Executive Council has endorsed plans for a new Global Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Infrastructure.

The decision has been important in view to fill critical information gaps and support action to reduce heat-trapping gases which are fuelling temperature increase.

“The Executive Council resolution recognizes the “growing societal importance of greenhouse gas monitoring in support of improving our scientific understanding of the Earth System” said the WMO in a statement.

It further said that “the urgent need to strengthen the scientific underpinning of mitigation actions taken by the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement.”

“We know from our measurements that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are at record high. The increase in CO2 levels from 2020 to 2021 was higher than the average growth rate over the past decade and methane saw the biggest year-on-year jump since measurements started,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof Petteri Taalas.

“But there are still uncertainties, especially regarding the role in the carbon cycle of the ocean, the land biosphere and the permafrost areas,” said Prof. Taalas.

“We, therefore, need to undertake greenhouse gas monitoring within an integrated Earth System framework in order to be able to account for natural sources and sinks, both as they currently operate and as they will change as a result of a changing climate. This will provide vital information and support for the implementation of the Paris Agreement,” he said.

It seeks to build on WMO’s experience in the coordination of international collaboration in weather prediction and climate analysis and on long-standing activities in greenhouse gas monitoring, research and provision of related services under the auspices of the Global Atmosphere Watch established in 1989 and its Integrated Global Greenhouse Gas Information System (IG3IS).

“Many of the existing international and national activities dealing with greenhouse gases are supported mainly by the research community. At present, there is no comprehensive, timely international exchange of surface and space-based greenhouse gas observations or modelling products” it said.

The resolution was approved during the Executive Council session 27 February to 3 March. It seeks further approval of this initiative by World Meteorological Congress which takes place in May 2023.

“WMO’s decision to bring its experience and expertise in the coordination of numerical weather prediction and climate analysis to bear on a generational challenge like climate change mitigation will be seen as a historic step”, said Dr Lars Peter Riishojgaard, Deputy Director, WMO Infrastructure Department.

”There is very strong support from the science community and private sector for the concept of the global greenhouse gas monitoring infrastructure. WMO has been contacted by both philanthropies and venture capitalists who are seeking opportunities to catalyze a major global extension of greenhouse gas monitoring capabilities,” said Dr Riishojgaard.

The EC resolution was informed by the outcomes of an international symposium in January 2023 which brought together more than 170 experts from research and operational communities, space agencies, meteorological services, the ocean and climate observing communities, academia, and UN partners.

“The concept of the new “monitoring infrastructure” envisages a top-down approach to the flux evaluation which builds on existing capabilities in surface- and space-based observations and modelling and ensures the timely exchange of all observations and data” said WMO.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here