Global Mercury Observation System (GMOS) is a unique global observing system providing comparable monitoring data on mercury levels in air and marine ecosystems in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres aiming to support the Minamata Convention (Arts. 19 and 22). Its Modeling Task Force involves the worldwide mercury modeling community and is aimed to assess the effectiveness of policy measures that will be undertaken by Nations for the Minamata Convention.
GMOS provides observations from over 35 ground-based monitoring stations located in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres, ad-hoc cruise campaigns over oceans and seas, and from tropospheric studies.
Long-term and high precision observations and analysis of the mercury cycle in the different domains of the Earth System (atmosphere, ocean, land), are required to understand the role of anthropogenic activities, to better quantify Hg sources and sinks, and to determine Hg impact on ecosystem and human health.
The GMOS program had its origins in the GEO Task HE-02 "Tracking Pollutants" established as a part of the GEO 2009-2011 Work Plan which aimed to develop a coordinated global observation network for mercury. The Task’s intention was to support the international conventions on toxic compounds (i.e. UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP)) and on-going international programmes (e.g. UNEP Mercury Program, European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP)).
The program was established through the EU – FP7 project of the same name which ran from 2010 – 2015.