What we do

Building partnerships between measurement specialists and the climate & ocean observation communities to enhance metrological best practice across Europe and beyond.

The 2015 Paris Agreement seeks to limit the rise in the Earth’s temperature to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, to significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change. Governments and international organisations need to make complex, inter-related decisions to meet this ambitious target. These decisions require reliable climate models and a robust, integrated global climate observing system.

The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) has defined a set of more than 50 Essential Climate Variables (ECVs): physical, chemical, and biological variables that characterise Earth’s climate, to enable global, multi-decadal observation of climate trends. The Global Ocean Observing System has similarly defined Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs). These include both the GCOS oceanic ECVs and additional EOVs which support the economic and societal applications of the ocean system.

Each essential variable comes with measurement accuracy targets, required to successfully monitor small trends hidden by larger scale local variability but in practice can be challenging to achieve. Measurement science can provide expertise for accurately and reliably monitoring  variables over the long timescales needed to be able to detect and understand climate trends.


The European Metrology Network (EMN) for Climate and Ocean Observation will support the integration of measurement science with climate and ocean observation research in three environmental themes: atmosphere, ocean, and land & Earth Observation. In each theme, metrologists will connect with those making observations to understand the associated measurement challenges. Working together, the EMN can offer practical support and calibration services, develop and implement quality assurance frameworks, and offer training and resources to ensure that global climate and ocean observations can be used with confidence to support a variety of end applications.