Publication Abstracts

Weir et al. 2022

Weir, B., T. Oda, L.E. Ott, and G.A. Schmidt, 2022: Assessing progress toward the Paris Climate Agreement from space. Environ. Res. Lett., 17, no. 11, 111002, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac998c.

Since the Industrial Revolution, growing "atmospheric stocks" of greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations have led to global average temperature increases of over 1°C with carbon dioxide (CO2) the leading contributor, accounting for roughly half the total warming. Left unchecked, continued growth in GHG concentrations due to fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, and other human activities is projected to have catastrophic impacts on the Earth's climate and habitability. While the impact of human activity on climate may be well understood globally over several decades, the ability to trace more granular activity, e.g., annual fuel usage of individual countries, to changes in GHG concentrations remains a landmark goal needed to support climate change mitigation efforts. This commentary addresses how this goal might be achieved with a Accepted Manuscript focus on transparency, verifiability, and the challenges that lie ahead.

The 2015 Paris Agreement (PA), reaffirmed by the 2021 Glasgow Pact, plans to limit future global temperature increases through coordinated reduction of GHG emissions. These efforts will be evaluated every five years during UNFCCC Global Stocktakes (GSTs) with the first ongoing. GSTs are intended to "assess collective progress [and] have no individual Party focus". Individual parties are instead expected to assess their own progress through the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF), a series of biennial reports starting in 2024. Table 1 of the ETF reference manual suggests parties detail how their effort "contributes to the stabilization of GHG concentrations […] at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system." Observations of GHG concentrations and derived scientific analyses are thus expected to play a vital role in assessments of mitigation efforts.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Weir, B. and Oda, T. and Ott, L. E. and Schmidt, G. A.},
  title={Assessing progress toward the Paris Climate Agreement from space},
  journal={Environ. Res. Lett.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - we06300k
AU  - Weir, B.
AU  - Oda, T.
AU  - Ott, L. E.
AU  - Schmidt, G. A.
PY  - 2022
TI  - Assessing progress toward the Paris Climate Agreement from space
JA  - Environ. Res. Lett.
VL  - 17
IS  - 11
SP  - 111002
DO  - 10.1088/1748-9326/ac998c
ER  -

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