IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


1st June, 2023 Environment

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  • The World Meteorological Congress has approved a new greenhouse gas (GHG) monitoring initiative in a landmark decision.


  • The Congress resolution endorsing the establishment of the Global Greenhouse Gas Watch received unanimous support from WMO’s 193 members. 
  • It recognised the growing societal importance of greenhouse gas monitoring in support of improving our scientific understanding of the Earth System, and the urgent need to strengthen the scientific underpinning of mitigation actions taken by the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. 


  • The initiative supports urgent action to reduce heat-trapping gases, which are fuelling temperature increases.
  • The new global GHG watch-will fill critical information gaps and provide an integrated and operational framework.
  • The framework will bring all space-based and surface-based observing systems, as well as modelling and data assimilation capabilities, under one roof. 


  • At present, there is no comprehensive, timely international exchange of surface and space-based greenhouse gas observations or modelling products. 
  • Greenhouse gas concentrations are at record levels — in fact higher than at any time over the last 800,000 years. 
  • The increase in carbon dioxide levels from 2020 to 2021 was higher than the average growth rate over the past decade and methane saw the biggest year-on-year jump since measurements started.
  • GHG monitoring infrastructure will help improve understanding of the carbon cycle. Understanding the full carbon cycle is vitally important for the planning of mitigation activities. 


  • The GHG watch will consist of four main components:
    1. A comprehensive, sustained, global set of surface-based and satellite-based observations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) concentrations, total column amounts, partial column amounts, vertical profiles and fluxes and supporting meteorological, oceanic, and terrestrial variables, internationally exchanged as rapidly as possible, pending capabilities and agreements with the system operators;
    2. Prior estimates of the GHG emissions based on activity data and process-based models;
    3. A set of global high-resolution Earth System models representing GHG cycles;
    4. Associated with the models, data assimilation systems that optimally combine the observations with model calculations to generate products of higher accuracy.






Q) At present, there is no comprehensive, timely international exchange of surface and space-based greenhouse gas observations or modelling products. In the context of this statement, examine the need of a global greenhouse gas monitoring mechanism. (150 words)