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Introduction to IGACO

IGACO (Integrated Global Atmospheric Chemistry Observations) is a theme in the International Global Observing Strategy (IGOS). IGOS aims in providing a framework to harmonize the common interests of the major space-based and in-situ systems for global observation of the Earth for scientist, policymakers, and the general public.

IGACO activities are based on the IGACO Theme Report that was prepared by an expert international group convened by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the European Space Agency (ESA) and reviewed independently by eminent scientists including two Nobel Prize winners.

IGACO (International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Observations) is a strategy for bringing together ground-based, aircraft and satellite observations of 13 chemical species in the atmosphere. The implementation of IGACO will be organised through the Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) programme of WMO. For IGACO, four focus areas have been selected: Ozone, Aerosols, Greenhouse gases and Air Quality / Long-range transport. Activities in each focus area will be linked to corresponding GAW Science Advisory Groups (SAGs).

In addition to the four focus areas, cross-cutting activities (i.e., activities common to all focus areas) will be coordinated through the IGACO Implementation Team, co-chaired by WMO Commission for Atmospheric Sciences (CAS) and Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), represented by ESA.

The implementation of IGACO will take place in phases, with the first phase lasting 2006-2010, and the second phase from 2010 onwards. Long-term activities will be included as tasks in the GAW Strategic Implementation Plan, currently in preparation for 2008-2015. In each phase, activities will be defined taking into account scientific priorities and feasibility aspects.

Everyday work will be coordinated by WMO jointly with a secretariat hosted by a research institution in the field. The IGACO-Ozone secretariat is hosted by the Finnish Meteorological Institute with a Memorandum of Understanding with the WMO.

The picture below shows the structure of IGACO.