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Monitoring & understanding climate change

Teddington, UK — The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has published an extensive report ‘Metrology for Climate – Metrology priorities for the earth observation and climate community‘ containing the recommendations from international research organisations on the role of metrology in supporting climate research.

The report follows a two-day event hosted by NPL in May 2015, which provided structured workshop sessions to investigate and prioritise the role that metrology should play in supporting the robust measurement of Essential Climate Variables (ECVs).

There are 50 ECVs associated with the three Atmospheric, Oceanic and Terrestrial domains, and the concept provides a crucial systematic and internationally consistent framework of variables to facilitate the monitoring and understanding of climate change and forecast models.

During the event, three sessions were run in parallel to focus on the three domains. Each session addressed the current adherence of satellite products to climate monitoring principles as stated by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and the adequacy of specific requirements for the ECVs.

They reviewed existing ECV datasets and developed recommendations on how metrological techniques are and can be applied to the generation of improved ECVs to support the long-term generation of quality and consistent climate data records (CDR).
The key objectives of the workshop were to address the following questions:

  • Can GCOS requirements be met and how can metrology help the earth observation and CDR community?
  • What can the earth observation and CDR community do to ensure successful integration of metrological principles into the monitoring of ECVs and the formation of CDRs?

Download a copy of the report here (