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Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW)

The Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) is a program, under the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO), established in the 1960s following concerns for the state of the atmosphere.

The most pressing issues GAW has been focusing on are:

  1. Climate Change, due to the steadily increase of greenhouse gases (in particular CO2).
  2. The Stratospheric Ozone Hole above Antarctica, which developed as a consequences of chlorinated species, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), being emitted.
  3. Urban air pollution, in particular fine particles, which affect human health and life expectancy.

Figure 1 Global stations of the Global Atmospheric Watch program

GAW relies on an ensemble of long-term atmospheric records at stations around the globe. The program delivers periodic assessment reports based on the study of the variability and trends in atmospheric composition and related physical parameters. Those reports offer reliable scientific information for policy makers wanting to tackle climate change, ozone depletion or urban air quality.

Moving into the future, the Cyprus Atmospheric Observatory will contribute long term atmospheric data. As a regional station, Cyprus is ideally located to study climate change and air pollution transport within the East Mediterranean and Middle Eastern region.