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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

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

The EarthInfo Day - Linking Earth observation with the global response to climate change - will be held on Tuesday 8th November during COP 22

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


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


More resources will be added in due course 



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