From Atmospheric Observations and Analysis of Greenhouse Gases to Emission Estimates: a Scientific Adventure

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The effects of climate change are becoming more evident. Governments are addressing the challenge of climate change through international accords such as the Paris Agreement in 2015. To evaluate progress towards climate targets, governments have adopted a process of national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reporting following agreed protocols. These protocols were established by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and described in the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (IPCC, 2006). In May 2019, the IPCC Plenary approved a Refinement to the Guidelines (in press), which outlines the important role of atmospheric observations and analysis to improve estimations of national GHG emissions. The 2019 Refinement describes key components and steps to be applied when using atmospheric measurements and inverse models for comparison with inventory estimates (Chapter 6, Quality Assurance/Quality Control and Verification).