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Uncertainty, Stability and Traceability in Global Monitoring of Atmospheric Composition and the Role of WMO/GAW Central Calibration Facilities – Reality and Plans
by Dr. Herman G.J. Smit, Dr. Gao Chen, Dr. Julian Groebner, Dr. Bradley Hall, Dr. Stelios Kazadzis, Dr. Alberto Redondas, Dr. Martin Steinbacher, Dr. Joele Viallon, Dr. Roeland Van Malderen, Dr. Christoph Zellweger, Dr. Shinya Takatsuji, Dr. Robert Wegener, Dr. Alfred Wiedensohler, Dr. Chris Lehmann


The Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Program of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) maintains a global network of long-term observing stations in recognition of the need for improved scientific understanding of the increasing influence of human activities on atmospheric composition and subsequent environmental impacts. Most essential thereby is to rely on most accurate scientific observations of the state of the environment. For three decades, a set of GAW-Central Facilities has been supporting the Quality Assurance (QA) infrastructure to maintain the long-term stability and traceability of those observations. Based on long term QA-experience within GAW it has been recognized that within the different classes of GAW observations, there exist a diversity of QA-methodologies with regard to uncertainty, stability, and traceability of the measurement standards, which needs to be harmonized in the next future. Essential and challenging for GAW-QA/QC is to meet future requirements of data quality to detect and document changes in atmospheric composition and to improve the understanding of the underlying processes. The Expert Team on Atmospheric Composition Measurement Quality (ET-ACMQ), established two years ago with the reorganization of the WMO infrastructure, will be a key player of this effort. Among the core activities of the team is the development of common quality assurance principles and terminology between thematic GAW groups. The team has started its work by analyzing the current status of GAW-QA/QC, reviewing existing QA-documentation and tools, setting criteria for their evaluation, and organizing their updates. The task is challenging and a key objective for the future will be to facilitate and guide the standardization and harmonization of the different QA-methodologies. Existing gaps like the reporting of important QA-information in meta data have to be resolved. We will present an overview of the present and future QA efforts in the GAW observation network and the role of the central calibration facilities and how to improve in the future the links to the metrological community. This will be demonstrated and discussed along a few long−term records of different classes of GAW observations (e.g. greenhouse gases and ozone) in terms of uncertainty, stability and traceability.

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Topic : Theme 1: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.
Reference : T1-A7

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