16th International Workshop on Greenhouse Gas Measurements from Space

Jointly organised by EUMETSAT, ESA, the ECMWF, and the European Commission’s Copernicus Programme, the first, virtual IWGGMS is taking place as planned on 02 - 05 June.

Wednesday, 03 June 2020


Globally, the International Workshop on Greenhouse Gas Measurements from Space (IWGGMS) is one of the most important scientific meetings for space-based observations of greenhouse gases, the detection of greenhouse gas emission hotspots from space, and the provision of remote sensing data from satellites for model-based derivation of greenhouse gas fluxes.

The goal of the workshop is to review the state-of-the-art remote sensing of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases, as well as related products from space.

Informative virtual sessions

There will be six sessions, on the following topics:

  • Results from current missions
  • Status of future missions
  • Retrieval algorithms and uncertainty quantification
  • In-flight calibration and product validation
  • Observations to quantify hotspots and local/urban emissions
  • Flux estimates and atmospheric inventories from space-based measurements

This year’s meeting will highlight the significant progress made in establishing the European greenhouse gas emissions Monitoring and Verification Support capacity (European-MVS)— implementing the decisions taken in the Paris Agreement, and established in more detail at the Conference of the Parties (COP-24) in Katowice in 2018—to instrument a global monitoring and verification system for the monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions.


However, the originally planned half-day session on the European-MVS has now been moved to a physical meeting in 2021, in Darmstadt, on the occasion of IWGGMS-17.

The 16th IWGGMS meeting showcases the global effort to address the pressing issues in monitoring anthropogenic CO2 and CH4 emissions.

In Tuesday’s opening sessions on the current and future status of greenhouse gas measurements from space, presenters from Japan, China, the US and Europe highlighted a very wide range of space-based instrumentation measuring greenhouse gas total column amounts; either currently already in orbit or in their proposal or development stage. All the missions presented on the first day depicted a very high potential to contribute to an international effort on building a greenhouse gas monitoring and verification support capacity, of which the European version is currently under development, under the lead of the European Commission Copernicus programme.

The CO2M mission, proposed to be developed by ESA and operated by EUMETSAT as a new Sentinel of the Copernicus programme, was jointly presented at the meeting (together with presentations on the NASA OCO missions, the Japanese GOSAT missions and the Chinese Tansat missions). CO2M will be a very significant contributor to this global effort on monitoring our anthropogenic contribution to the observed climate change, in the timeframe of 2026. While having raised very strong political support in Europe, the funding of this mission still has to be confirmed in the context of the approval of the future EU 2021-2027 budget by the EU Council and the European Parliament.

Given the universal reach of the meeting, daily time slots extending from 11:00 to 15:00 UTC have been put in place to accommodate all participants.

There will be 44 oral presentations of 10 minutes each and 56 short talks of 2 minutes each, as well as an overview on the status of current and future missions.

For further information, please visit the IWGGMS website.

IMG_podcast_03062020_1To coincide with this event, we have also released a new podcast episode from the EUMETSAT “Day to Day” series. The latest episode on greenhouse gas monitoring from space, is hosted by Mark Higgins (Training Manager at EUMETSAT) and featuring guests, Ruediger Lang (CO2 Project Scientist at EUMETSAT) and Greet Maenhout (in charge of the CO2M mission at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission).

Within the context of the Paris Agreement, the podcast focuses on topics such as the monitoring of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the role of satellite agencies and the data that satellites can provide, and how it affects and benefits the citizens in Europe and beyond.


Listen to episode number five here.

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