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Earth Information Day at COP 22 on November 8 will provide an important up-to-date picture of the state of the climate and an outlook on future developments and opportunities to take the most effective climate action.

It will link the work of the science community, including systematic observation, to the implementation of the Paris Agreement’s goals and aims to provide key information to help underpin the formal global stocktake of progress in 2018.  

The entry into force of the Agreement means that government and non-government stakeholders more than ever require the best knowledge available in order to understand how their actions are influencing the state of the climate and sustainable development. Systematic observation is the cornerstone of this understanding.

The Paris Agreement recognizes the role and contribution of all actors to take decisive climate action based on best available scientific knowledge. The science community provides this knowledge through up-to-date data, information and analysis of the state of the climate as well as climate services and decision-making tools to support risk assessment, adaptation and mitigation at regional and national level.

For example, the WMO report “The Global Climate in 2011-2015” identifies that the average temperature in 2015 was over one degree higher than pre-industrial times and that the period 2011-2015 was the warmest five-year period on record, consistent with established warming trends.

It says that, in 2015, another milestone was reached with globally averaged CO2 levels of 400 parts per million (ppm). This year, 2016, is on track to be even warmer and will be the first year in which CO2 at the Mauna Loa Observatory remains above 400 ppm all year, and for many generations to come.

The probability of extreme climate events since 2011, especially those involving extreme high temperatures, has been substantially increased by climate change, often by a factor of 10 or more. The single most significant event in humanitarian terms, with over 250,000 lives lost, was the 2011-2012 famine in the Horn of Africa where drought was a major factor.

Some of the new developments and opportunities being presented at COP 22 Earth Information Day include:

  • The up-to-date state of the climate and the global carbon budget and the development of indicators to support adaptation and mitigation
  • The Global Climate Observing System Implementation Plan 2016 – explaining the essential climate variables, indicators and actions required to support the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals
  • New developments in the estimation of greenhouse gas emissions from Earth observations to support national inventories
  • Earth observation actions and services to support adaptation in Africa, including the African Impact Atlas, which details future changes under 1.5 and 2 degrees C global temperature change for a number of indicators including temperature, rainfall, agriculture, energy and health on a 50km square grid

Earth Information Day aims to increase engagement and best information sharing between the science community, Party and non-Party stakeholders at the COP. It also aims to be a central support for the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process and includes a focus on actions and opportunities to support adaptation in Africa.

 All information on Earth Information Day and relevant reports are available here.

The event will start at 10:15 in Plenary Casablanca at the COP 22 site. 

 

Pic by Jennifer Woodard Maderazo (Flickr)

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