Monitoring our planet’s climate is critically important. To anticipate the challenges that the changing climate will bring, and develop mitigation strategies for coping with them, we need reliable climate forecasts. Climate models are tested through observational records of key indicators of the state of our climate: essential climate variables, or ECVs. These are a set of physical, chemical and biological variables defined by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).

The climate section covers the measurement challenges and metrological contribution to in situ and remote sensing measurements of ECVs associated with the three themes of the network: Atmosphere, Ocean, and Land & Earth Observation.

The figure below shows how climate observations fit into the climate decision making process.