Remedy 1: Establish traceability of spectroscopic properties of Essential Climate Variables

Primary gap remedy type: 
Secondary gap remedy type: 
Proposed remedy description: 

Establishment of a top-level cooperation and networking activity to coordinate and review spectroscopic uncertainty activities across the range of spectral regions and measurement techniques, with the long-term goal of developing harmonised processes to establish spectroscopic traceability in ECV determination. This may be achieved either by a large-scale coordinated project or piecemeal for specific cases. A large-scale coordinated project approach would benefit from synergies and commonality of approaches and may be preferred. Experts in laboratory and theoretical spectroscopy, metrology and the instruments would be required, and would need to link to the exiting collaborative activities involved in the development of spectroscopic reference databases such as HITRAN and GEISA. A key aspect of this work will be the introduction of metrological traceability in the determination of new spectroscopic data, covering both the target gas concentrations and path lengths being measured but also the ancillary parameters such as temperature, pressure and matrix gas composition that are crucial in derivation of spectroscopic model parameters and their uncertainties. The top level project should include a focus on the development of common procedures and robust methods that could be deployed across the wider spectroscopic community, to ensure consistency and comparability amongst data providers in the generation of the spectroscopic parameters, and understanding amongst data users in the application of the parameters and related uncertainties.


The proposed coordination activity is required to ensure a harmonised approach to addressing specific gaps in spectroscopic knowledge. This will lead to the efficient development of an improved understanding of spectroscopic uncertainties and a unified methodology in establishing traceability in spectroscopic measurements.

Measurable outcome of success: 

Successful outcome of the activity will be demonstrated in the short term through transfer of knowledge from one area of spectroscopic research to another, and through the development of common processes and procedures. An additional measure of success would be the implementation of the estimated uncertainties in the retrieval methods exploited by the satellite and ground-based user community.

Expected viability for the outcome of success: 
  • Medium
Scale of work: 
  • Programmatic multi-year, multi-institution activity
Time bound to remedy: 
  • More than 10 years
Indicative cost estimate (investment): 
  • Medium cost (< 5 million)
Indicative cost estimate (exploitation): 
  • Yes
Potential actors: 
  • Other, please specify:
European funding mechanisms such as COST or EMPIR.