The international activities of GAW Switzerland encompass services, quality assurance and calibration as well as capacity building. This development of capacity and skills helps to promote knowledge transfer as well as the expansion of the global monitoring network in developing countries and emerging economies.
International calibration centres
The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) operates the World Calibration Centre (WCC-Empa) and the GAW Quality Assurance/Scientific Activity Centre (QA/SAC Switzerland) in line with GAW requirements. The two Empa centres support GAW members worldwide by offering calibration and quality management for surface ozone, carbon monoxide, methane and carbon dioxide monitoring. In addition, the World Radiation Centre, partly funded by GAW-CH, is operated from the Physical Meteorological Observatory in Davos. The WRC provides calibration in the areas of radiation and optical depth of the atmosphere.
GAW Station Information System (GAWSIS)
GAW-CH maintains the GAW Station Information System (GAWSIS). This system gathers data from all GAW stations around the world and makes them available from a central point.
Joint financing and capacity building
SPARC (Stratospheric Processes and Their Role in Climate) is one of the primary research programmes of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). It researches the role of the stratosphere in the global climate system. Between 2011 and 2017, GAW-CH was a joint funder of the SPARC International Project Office, which was located at the ETH Zurich during that period. Since 2018, it has been based at the DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen. GAW-CH also promotes the development of capacity and competencies (capacity building) in developing countries and emerging economies. Since 1996, for example, it has been supporting regular ozone soundings in Nairobi, Kenya. Alongside financial support, GAW-CH also carries out quality assessments and provides training for the Kenyan team on a regular basis.