The NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory (GML) plays a critical leadership role in the global atmospheric monitoring community.  GML scientists have unique and globally recognized expertise in making sustained atmospheric observations over decades, interpreting those observations, and communicating their findings to other researchers and the public.  Without observations like these, the science community would struggle to diagnose how the climate system functions as climate change unfolds, now and into the far future.

GML Research Themes standards baseline observatories greenhouse gases surface radiation, clouds and aerosols stratospheric ozone

The first two GML research themes are related to the Grand Challenges of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). The third theme is a legal requirement under the 1990 Clean Air Act.

For more information, you can read the GML Research Plan

Tracking Greenhouse Gases and Understanding Carbon Cycle Feedbacks

Increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere drive changes in the climate. GML tracks the trends and distributions of GHGs to identify and understand natural and anthropogenic emission and removal of GHGs from the atmosphere to better inform climate policy.

Related Research Programs
Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases Halocarbons and Trace Gases Water Vapor

Monitoring and Understanding Changes in Surface Radiation, Clouds, and Aerosol Distributions

The energy that the sun supplies to the Earth is influenced by greenhouse gases, aerosol particles, cloud properties and changes in atmospheric circulation. GML monitors radiation, clouds and aerosols at sites around the globe to improve understanding of the complex direct and indirect impacts of these variables on climate.

Related Research Programs
Global Radiation and Aerosols Total Ozone

Guiding Recovery of Stratospheric Ozone

Stratospheric ozone provides protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation that can be harmful to humans and ecosystems. Through measurements of stratospheric ozone and ozone-depleting substances, GML provides policy-relevant information on stratospheric ozone depletion and the road to recovery.

Related Research Programs
Ozone and Water Vapor Halocarbons and Trace Gases

Supporting Infrastructure #1: Calibrations and Standards

High-quality measurements rely on accurate and reliable calibration references. GML provides reference materials and calibrations for the global atmospheric research community to foster compatibility in measurements of greenhouse gases, ozone, UV radiation, and solar radiation.

Related Research
Central Calibration Laboratory

Supporting Infrastructure #2: Atmospheric Baseline Observatories

The four Atmospheric Baseline Observatories are home to a range of instruments and experiments and operate 24/7. They form the backbone of GML’s global observation network. Strategically located at different latitudes and far from human influences, long-term measurements from these remote sites provide the world’s best estimates for background atmospheric composition and properties.

Related Research
Observatory Operations