GEOCARBON - Operational Global Carbon Observing System

Designing a coordinated Global Carbon Observation and Analysis System, addressing the climate targets of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) toward building a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) for carbon.


Today, countries use a wide variety of methods to monitor the carbon cycle and it is difficult to compare data from country to country and to get a clear global picture. The current global observational and modelling capabilities allow us to produce estimates of carbon budget at different level (from local to global) but many uncertainties still remain. Decision makers need now more than ever systematic, consistent and transparent data, information and tools for an independent and reliable verification process of greenhouse gas emissions and sinks.

Therefore higher quality and quantity of CO2 and CH4 data, from different domains and with an enhanced spatial and temporal resolution, need to be collected by a globally integrated observation and analysis system. This can be obtained by the coordinated Global Carbon Observation and Analysis System.


Specific objectives are:

  • Provide an aggregated set of harmonized global carbon data (CO2 and CH4) and information (integrating the land, ocean, atmosphere and human dimension).
  • Develop improved Carbon Cycle Data Assimilation Systems (CCDAS).
  • Define the specifications for an operational Global Carbon Observing System.
  • Provide improved regional carbon budgets of Amazon and Central Africa.
  • Provide comprehensive and synthetic information on the annual sources and sinks of CO2 and CH4 for the globe and for large ocean and land regions.
  • Provide an economic assessment of the value of an enhanced Global Carbon Observing System.
  • Strengthen the effectiveness of the global Carbon Community participation in the GEO system.

The achievements of each of the specific objectives will represent key advancements. Another major advancement will be the translation of the scientific knowledge into policy relevant information. This will allow decision makers timely addressing mitigation and adaptation strategies and verification process of greenhouse gas emissions and sinks.

More information

For more information please visit the GEOCARBON website.