• BIPM and WMO Metrology for Climate Action Workshop
  • Tim Watt
  • EMN Climate and Ocean Observation,

Submissions of abstracts welcome for the Metrology for Climate Action Workshop

Deadline fast approaching for BIPM & WMO workshop to prioritise and recommend metrology research activities to support climate action in the decade ahead.

Registration and a submission process for abstracts is open via a dedicated event page for the BIPM and WMO Metrology for Climate Action Workshop, with a submissions deadline of 30 June 2022.

Abstracts are requested of papers that can be presented at the global workshop to be held online from 26 to 30 September 2022, set to feature cutting edge research in climate science, observations, GHG mitigation and measurement, modelling, and measurement science.

The Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) encourages contributions likely to stimulate ideas for new recommendations in technical challenge areas for metrology over the next decade. A similar joint BIPM-WMO event in 2010 — Measurement Challenges for Global Observation Systems for Climate Change Monitoring — contributed ideas for improved coordination of metrological services, guidelines and operating procedures, and suggestions for research and knowledge transfer.


Parallel Themes

The workshop will address themes encompassing multiple topics.

  • Theme 1: Metrology in support of the physical science basis of climate change and climate observations
  • Theme 2: Metrology as integral to operational systems estimating greenhouse gas emissions based on accurate measurements and analyses

Emma Woolliams, chair of the European Metrology Network (EMN) for Climate and Ocean Observation, highlighted that the two themes are framed around a model of how observations fit into climate policy developed for the network’s Stakeholder Needs Report.

To help potential presenters decide about which theme to submit their abstracts for, Emma — who is metrology chair for Theme 1 of the workshop — summed up Theme 2 as addressing the shorter feedback path in the middle. Here metrology has a role in checking the effectiveness of implementations of policies.

“Such policies might be rules to reduce carbon emissions, innovation funding to help decarbonise society, encouragement for social change, or changes to land use like planting trees. It might be a policy put in place by international organisations like the UN, or by a country, or a city — such as committing to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050.”

These activities can be monitored through observations and could be used by countries for compiling emissions reporting to the UN. “If we could get to a position where local emission observations could inform climate ‘data dashboards’, similar to data that proved useful in many countries during the COVID pandemic, these localities might be able to target highly specific actions, based on where emissions are rising, and where emissions are going down”, says Emma.

Theme 2 will raise questions such as, where does metrology come into all this? Where does metrology come into observation? What's stopping the use of observations in national inventories?

Theme 1, meanwhile, will focus on the long feedback loop involved in understanding changes in climate via observations and models. The challenges involved here can be more complex, reflecting long processes of observing changes to the earth’s climate in response to policies.

“For Theme 1, we’ll be looking at observations of the actual climate – from raw instrument observation through processing into ‘essential climate variables’. These are various quantities defined by GCOS (Global Climate Observing System) as useful in climate science, including validating and testing climate models. Climate models are used to forecast progression of the climate and, alongside socio-economic models, inform high-level policymaking, as in IPCC reports.”

Bridging climate decision-making cycles

The workshop encourages new thinking, so metrologists can contribute right through various chains of decision-making to effective climate action.

Theme 1 will discuss new ways for metrology to support decision making, such as how observations can be made, how climate observations can be converted into essential climate variables, and how essential climate variables can be used in, and validate, climate models.

“That’s why I think we need to appeal to experts in all of these aspects”, added Emma. “We want to involve those making observations, and those modelling the climate. We’d also like participation from those using observations and models to inform climate policy – for mitigation and adaptation”.

EURAMET is an official partner

EURAMET is an official partner of the BIPM and WMO Metrology for Climate Action Workshop.

During the event, EURAMET will host a virtual pavilion as part of the poster fair to highlight successes of European metrology research projects and show how other institutions can join such projects, as well as describe activities of EURAMET’s European Metrology Networks.

Registration and abstract submission

BIPM welcomes abstracts that may contribute to new recommendations for technical challenge areas for improved metrological support for the physical science basis of climate change and climate observations.

Presentations and posters will be available for online viewing before the workshop, for comments and questions by participants. Experts that submit accepted abstracts will also be able to present and discuss papers as posters in an interactive session on the virtual event platform (Gather.Town) over two days of the workshop. The event will also include two days of discussion to identify new recommendations for future collaborations in metrology.

Those submitting abstracts should register. The closing date for submitting abstracts is 31 May 2022.

Organisations (institutions and committees) can also register as stakeholder organisations.