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Metrology and Meteorology - How do they work together?
They sound similar and they complement each other very well: Metrology, the science of measurement, and meteorology, the science of phenomena and processes of the atmosphere including weather forecasting.
23 March is World Meteorological Day. The event commemorates the coming into force of the convention establishing the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in 1950. 'Weather-ready, climate-smart' is the theme of the day in 2018. "Long-term climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency of extreme weather and climate events and causing sea level rise and ocean acidification. Now more than ever, we need to be weather-ready, climate-smart and water-wise", states the WMO.
Numerous joint research projects within the Environment and Energy calls of EURAMET's European Metrology Research Programmes (EMRP and EMPIR) are linked to meteorology, climate change and oceans.
The following four case studies show early impact from joint research projects linked to meteorology focussing on understanding our oceans:
Monitoring oceans from space
The EMRP project 'Metrology for Earth observation and climate' developed new measurement standards, methods and calibration facilities to support the validation of sensors used in Earth observation satellites, both prior to and during flight.
These outputs will ensure that accurate, laboratory-quality measurements of key climate parameters can be made from space and used to underpin robust predictions of changes to the Earth's climate.
Read more on the ‘Monitoring oceans from space’ case study
Understanding our oceans
The EMRP project 'Metrology for ocean salinity and acidity' developed measurement methods, standards and tools to improve the accuracy of ocean data used for climate monitoring and modelling. The project's outputs enable the traceable calibration of sensor networks and satellite systems. This will allow scientists to reliably identify small changes in long-term oceanographic data series.
1. Understanding ocean acidity
Oceans are the largest active carbon sinks on Earth. As the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere has increased, so too has the acidity of our oceans. Small changes in acidity have a significant effect on the marine eco-system. Monitoring pH is vital if we are to protect marine life and maintain the effectiveness of the ocean as a carbon reservoir.
2. Understanding our oceans
Oceans play a key role in regulating the global climate system. The interaction of oceans with the Earth's atmosphere is strongly linked to seawater properties such as salinity. Oceans must be accurately monitored to identify long-term climate trends and measurements of their properties must be comparable regardless of where and when they are made.
3. Monitoring ocean oxygen levels
Decreasing oxygen levels in the world's oceans, driven by increasing ocean temperatures, are expected to have a major impact on the carbon cycle and our climate, as well as ocean life.
Read more on the ‘Understanding our oceans’ case studies