Global Atmosphere Watch
Type of Structure: program
Regional Scope: global
Parent Organisations: WMO.UN GCOS
Child Organisations:
Duration : 0 to present
Contact Address: Secretariate
Atmospheric Environment Research Division
Research Department
avenue de la Paix 7Bis, Case Postale 2300
1211 Genève 2
Phone: +41 (0) 22 730 8169
FAX: +41 (0) 22 730 8049
e-Mail: gaw(at)

holding an official function in GAW

General information and objectives

The WMO established the GAW to monitor systematically on a global and regional basis the chemical composition and related physical characteristics of the background atmosphere. The GAW consists of three main components:
  • a network of approximately 20 global observing stations that measure parameters related to climate and ozone change;
  • 200-300 regional stations with ad hoc measurement programs to meet regional and national needs;
  • a mechanism for coordination with other networks that measure atmospheric composition.

    The objective of the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) under the WMO Commission for Atmospheric Sciences is to monitor the long-term evolution of the atmospheric composition on a global and regional scale in order to assess this contribution to climate change and environmental issues.

    The main objective of GAW is
    to provide data and other information on the chemical composition and related physical characteristics of the atmosphere and their trends, required to improve understanding of the behaviour of the atmosphere and its interactions with the oceans and the biosphere. The data collected at the GAW monitoring stations are particularly essential to understand the relationship between changing atmospheric composition and changes of global and regional climate, the long-range atmospheric transport and deposition of potentially harmful substances over terrestrial, fresh-water and marine ecosystems, and the natural cycling of chemical elements in the global atmosphere/ocean/biosphere system, and anthropogenic impacts thereon.

    about GAW

    Last update: 9/12/10
    Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2020)

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