ESRL's Global Monitoring Laboratory (GML) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conducts research that addresses three major challenges; greenhouse gas and carbon cycle feedbacks, changes in clouds, aerosols, and surface radiation, and recovery of stratospheric ozone.


To acquire, evaluate, and make available accurate, long-term records of atmospheric gases, aerosol particles, clouds, and surface radiation in a manner that allows the causes and consequences of change to be understood.


A Society using the best possible information to inform decisions on climate change, weather variability, carbon cycle feedbacks, and ozone depletion.

Research Goals


GML performs reference measurements and research focused on the role of the atmosphere on global climate forcing, the ozone layer and background air quality. GML maintains calibration scales and provides calibration services to support the World Meteorological Organization Global Atmospheric Watch programs.


GML expertise and operations support research and innovation in different areas:

Origin and Core Values

Our laboratory was created in 1972 as part of the NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories. Our mission back then was the same as it is today: Geophysical Monitoring for Climatic Change, which was actually our first name.

Half a century later, our scientific mandate to monitor the pulse of the planet is still as relevant as ever. Our observing networks, measurements techniques and analytical tools have evolved to ensure that we produce the best possible information as efficiently and carefully as possible.

Over all these years, our core values for operations and research have been (and continue to be): quality, relevance, continuity, transparency and partnership.

Our long-term measurement records are an essential piece to understand how our Earth’s atmosphere and climate have changed in the past and may change in the future.