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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

Decision 19/CP.22 on the global observing system for climate

SBSTA 45 report FCCC/SBSTA/2016/4 Agenda item 8(a)): Research and systematic observation

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



Resources for negotiators


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

Systematic observation will be discussed at SBSTA 47, during COP 23, 6-17 November 2017, Bonn, Germany

For information on all previous sessions - see Chronology




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