environmental monitoring

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Technologies, procedures, and protocols for collecting, analysing, interpreting, and reporting environmental information, including the use of continuous monitoring,remote sensing and satellites, geographical information systems, and environmental informatics. Great improvements have been made since the early 1990s in harmonizing practices and standards between countries, so that it is now becoming both possible and meaningful to collate national statistics into global summaries. A useful product of this new interest in producing and interpreting environmental information is the state of the environment reports that many countries now produce regularly. Monitoring provides the data that are needed to facilitate the development, testing, and operation of complex global models. It also provides baselines against which to evaluate rates and patterns of environmental change, and which can be used to give early indications of natural environmental adjustments and possible risks. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is responsible for coordinating the monitoring networks that provide invaluable information about the global environment. The data are collected mainly from surface stations around the world as part of the Global Environmental Monitoring System (GEMS).

Subjects: Environmental Science.

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