Scientific Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases

The objective of the SAG GHG is to ensure the coordination of the observational network that provides long-term “climate-quality” data on trends and spatial distributions of long-lived (LL) GHGs and related tracers. Data are used to calculate changes in radiative forcing since the pre-industrial era, to constrain LLGHG budgets of emissions and losses at global to regional spatial scales, and to verify bottom-up emission inventories and process models.


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Terms of Reference

Core activities
● Facilitate research related to the greenhouse gases by working closely with the relevant international programmes and projects, as well as with other major environmental science activities including carbon cycle and climate research, climate services, emissions modelling, stratospheric ozone depletion, climate and air pollution etc.;
● Coordinate the work related to the quantification of the spatial distribution and trends of greenhouse gases on global and regional scales and produce regular assessments, including regularly published information on the status of greenhouse gases, e.g. through the WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin and contribution to Climate Statement;
● Facilitate research on the use of isotopes and ancillary tracers to understand greenhouse gas sources, sinks and budgets;
● Stimulate the development of user-oriented products and services;
● Advocate for the expansion of in situ greenhouse gas measurement network at Earth’s surface and vertical profiles, particularly in data-poor regions like the tropics, climate-sensitive regions like the Arctic, and other regions where observations are used to support compliance with emission-reduction treaties;
● Encourage the improvement of retrievals of GHG distributions from satellite radiance measurements through comparison with in-situ observations;
● Assist/supervise the development of the relevant training materials and training delivery and support capacity development activities;
● Develop peer-reviewed data quality evaluation procedures for grading contributions to GAW greenhouse gas measurement, in collaboration with ET-ACMQ, that will encourage improvements in the quality and transparency of those contributions.
Interface with SAG
● Work together with the SAGs on reactive gases and on applications on development of integrated analyses related to improved knowledge of greenhouse gas emissions and source attribution;
● Work with the SAG on applications to promote development of improved atmospheric transport models, which are used to calculate greenhouse gas fluxes from atmospheric observations, with systematic and compatible measurements of the spatial distributions of transport tracers such as SF6 and 222Rn.
Interface with Expert Teams
● Work closely with ET-ACMQ on the assessment of the new or emerging technologies and methods for greenhouse gas measurements, development of the QA/QC tools and update of CIMO guidance;
● Work closely with ET-ACMQ on the establishment of good practice guidelines and common procedures for quality assurance;
● Work closely with ET-ACNDE on the development of the user requirements for the application relevant to greenhouse gases, assessing the current observational capabilities versus user requirements, reviewing and updating the OSCAR database and producing regular gap analysis reports that can lead to recommendations on the network development (e.g. the “statement of guidance”);
● Provide direction to the WDCGG with regard to data archival and availability as well as data processing and creation of products and services to meet science for service needs, including metadata requirements and enhanced use and exchange of observed data through FAIR principles.
Interface with GAW Initiatives Steering Committees
● Provide guidance on the state of science and recent research findings in the area of greenhouse gases to the Integrated Global Greenhouse Gas Information System (IG3IS), assist IG3IS promotion and implementation working with the partner organizations and communities (including ocean, biosphere and urban communities).
Interface with WMO groups
● Collaborate with the WMO and co-sponsored programmes on the aspects of greenhouse gases within the Earth System approach and addressing carbon cycle, radiative forcing and broader climate research, agricultural, ecosystems and ocean research.
Interface with external users and partners
● Communicate the availability of GAW observations to user communities, including climate, ecosystems, agriculture and atmospheric modelling communities;
● Outreach to other scientific and non-scientific communities regarding the state of science related to greenhouse gases, including the production of the relevant Bulletins, as well as proper understanding and use of measurement data;
● Actively entrain stakeholders, policymaker groups, scientific implementation partners and other interested parties to encourage their support and engagement.

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