9. and 10. May 2017: While climate negotiators from almost 200 countries met in Bonn to hammer out a “rule book” for putting the Paris Agreement into practice, more than 30 scientists gathered in Oslo to discuss how to build an observation system that can monitor the nations’ pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Under the Paris climate agreement nations agreed to try to limit global warming to below 2°C degrees above pre-industrial levels and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The ongoing talks in Bonn focus on how countries can report information about their emissions information to the UN, with a final “rule book” to be completed by 2018.
In the meantime, hundreds of scientists and technicians are establishing an independent pan-European infrastructure system called the Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS). The task is to measure concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane within the climate system and gas fluxes between the land and ocean surfaces and the atmosphere. In turn, atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions and geographical distribution consistent with the measurements will be estimated.