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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), World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and other agencies.

Further background information >>

Resources and Updates

COP 22 decision on the global observing system for climate

Resources for negotiators for SBSTA 45, Agenda item 8(a) RSO

Earth Information Day @COP 22, 8 November 2016 - Linking Earth observation with the global response to climate change

pdf-icon GCOS Implementation Plan 2016 (gcos-200) (5441 kB)  - The Global Observing System for Climate: Implementation Needs

pdf-icon WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 2016 (2120 kB)


Resources on systematic observation of the climate, climate change research and climate services from partners and relevant organizations, including the IPCC.
Calendar of upcoming worldwide climate change science and research related events from external organizations, including on issues of systematic observation.

Resources for negotiators SBSTA 45



Information papers and Reports

Earth Information Day @COP22





The Adaptation Exchange