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Systematic observation

Systematic observation of the climate system - atmosphere, land and ocean - is a key prerequisite for advancing scientific knowledge on climate change and informing decision making on mitigation and adaptation


The Convention calls on Parties to promote and cooperate in research, systematic observation and the development of data archives, including through exchange of information; to support programmes, networks and organizations; and improve the capacities of developing countries  (Articles 4.1(g) and 5).

Parties provide detailed technical reports on the status of their national systematic observation via their National Communications, in line with the guidelines in decision 11/CP.13.  

The Paris Agreement identifies the need for an effective and progressive response to the urgent threat of climate change on the basis of the best available scientific knowledge. This requires strengthening of knowledge on climate, including systematic observation of the climate system and early warning systems, in a manner that informs climate services and supports decision-making.

Implementation of systematic observation is supported through the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) and the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS), World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and other agencies.

Further background information >>

Resources and Updates

SBSTA 47 / COP 23 (2017)

SBSTA 45 / COP 22 (2016)





Links to websites and resources of partners and other relevant organizations
Calendar of climate change science-related events from external organizations

Resources for negotiators SBSTA 47 Agenda item 8. Research and Systematic observation


Submissions invited by SBSTA

Statements for COP opening plenary

Statements for SBSTA opening plenary

 Relevant side events

  • The UN Science event, Importance of science in supporting adaptation and mitigation under the Paris Agreement, Monday 6th November, 13.15-14.45, Meeting Room 10.
  • Integrated observations for mitigation and adaptation and practical support to Parties, hosted by GCOS and GEO, Wednesday 8th November, 13.15-14.45, Meeting Room 11. See pdf-icon event poster (1065 kB)

Full details of the side events are available here

For the SBSTA 47 webpage - click here

For information on all previous sessions, including submissions and statements at these sessions - see Chronology



The Adaptation Exchange