Reviews and syntheses: Enhancing research and monitoring of land-to-atmosphere greenhouse gases exchange in developing countries
Abstract. Greenhouse gas (GHG) research has traditionally required data collection and analysis using advanced and often expensive instruments, complex and proprietary software, and skilled technicians. Partly as a result, relatively little GHG research has been conducted in resource-constrained developing countries and a critical data gap exists in these regions. At the same time, these are the same countries and regions in which climate-change impacts will likely be strongest, and in which major science uncertainties are centered, given the importance of dryland and tropical systems to the global carbon cycle and climate. Increasingly, scientific communities have adopted appropriate technology and approach (AT&A) for GHG research, including low-cost and low-technology instruments, open source software and data, and participatory and networking-based research approaches. Adopting AT&A can mean acquiring data with fewer technical constraints and lower economic burden, and is thus a strategy for enhancing GHG research in developing countries. However, AT&A can be characterized by higher uncertainties; these can often be mitigated by carefully designing experimental set-up, providing clear protocols for data collection, and monitoring and validating the quality of obtained data. For implementing this approach in GHG research of developing countries, first, it is necessary to recognize the scientific and moral importance of AT&A. At the same time, new AT&A techniques should be identified and further developed. Finally, these processes should be promoted through training local staff and encouraged for wide use and further innovation in developing countries.
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