That landmark decision comes as concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases are at record levels – “higher than at any time in the last 800,000 years“, WMO warned.

Data from Earth and space

The new Global Greenhouse Gas Watch will combine observations from Earth and from space with modeling, to fill critical information gaps. It will build on WMO’s experience in coordinating international cooperation on weather forecasting.

The agency said the exchange of data will be “free and unlimited”, in support of The Paris Agreement about climate change.

According to the WMO, between 1990 and 2021, the warming effect on our climate from the main greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, increased by almost 50 percent.

“We know from our measurements that greenhouse gas concentrations are at record levels,” says WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. “The increase in carbon dioxide levels from 2020 to 2021 was higher than the average growth rate over the last decade and methane saw the biggest year-over-year jump since measurements began.

Much left to learn

“However, there are still uncertainties, particularly regarding the role of the carbon cycle in the ocean, terrestrial biosphere and permafrost areassaid Mr. Taalas.

“We must therefore carry out monitoring of greenhouse gases within a integrated Earth system framework to account for natural sources and sinks, both as they currently function and as they will change as a result of a changing climate. This will provide important information and support for the implementation of the Paris Agreement,” he said.

Lars Peter Riishojgaard, WMO’s Deputy Director for Infrastructure, said the UN Meteorological Agency’s decision on the generational challenge to reduce climate change is a historic step.

“Internationally coordinated global monitoring of greenhouse gases open to all and operating under the WMO policy of free and unrestricted data exchange, will provide valuable, timely and authoritative information on greenhouse gas fluxes to UNFCCC Parties (United Nations Secretariat of the Convention on Climate Change), which will help them in their efforts to mitigate climate change,” he added.

Mr. Riishojgaard said it was “very strong support from the scientific community and the private sector”, for the new monitoring project.