Permafrost Measurements Best Practice: GCW’s contribution to standardization of global observations

anna.irrgang [ at ]


The Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW), in the context of the framework of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), published the Measurement of Cryospheric Variables, Volume II of the Guide to Instruments and Methods of Observation in 2018, in which best practice for observations of snow parameters was included. As a follow-up effort, measurement best practices for the other cryosphere components are under development, including permafrost and seasonally frozen ground. The measurement best practice for permafrost aims to define reference methods for the configuration and ongoing operation of stations for in situ observations in high mountains and polar regions. It will: address gaps in the existing permafrost monitoring systems, define methods for improving traceability and comparability, recommend instrumental characteristics and provide measurements uncertainty evaluation. A further objective is to support capacity building of countries in terms of developing a permafrost observation network. A Task Team within the framework of GCW was established, to lead the development and publication of a complete guide to the measurements of permafrost variables. The documents in preparation will be coordinated with the ongoing revision of Products and Requirements of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Permafrost Essential Climate Variable (ECV), including existing variables measured by the GTN-P (Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost). Further, the needs of developing Essential Arctic Variables (EAV) and Shared Arctic Variables (SAV) identified at the Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) are considered. The work will be based on existing methodologies, promoting and recommending methods to improve data reliability and traceability, also for the implementation of new stations.

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Irrgang, A. M. , Merlone, A. , Boike, J. , Cable, W. , Coppa, G. , Firez, C. , Isaksen, K. , Luo, D. , Noetzli, J. , Pellet, C. , Portnov, A. , Shiklomanov, N. , Schoeneich, P. , Zhao, L. and Nitu, R. (2023): Permafrost Measurements Best Practice: GCW’s contribution to standardization of global observations

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