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Global Climate Observing System (GCOS)

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Presentation on theme: "Global Climate Observing System (GCOS)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Global Climate Observing System (GCOS)
Ensuring the Availability of Global Observations for Climate

2 Goal and Structure of GCOS
The Goal of GCOS is to provide continuous, reliable, comprehensive data and information on the state of the global climate system GCOS consists of the climate-relevant components of existing atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial observing systems and their enhancement to meet the totality of national and international user needs for climate observations GCOS is sponsored by WMO, UNEP, IOC and ICSU National support is provided by GCOS National Coordinators and Focal Points

3 GCOS as a System of Climate Observing Systems
ICSU IOC WMO UNEP GEO GCOS Ocean Observing Systems Terrestrial Observing Systems Atmospheric Observing Systems GEOSS

4 GCOS Vision An integrated global system of ground-based, airborne and space-based systems providing comprehensive information about the global climate system.

5 Examples of GCOS Observing Networks
Atmosphere GCOS Upper Air Network (GUAN) (~ 160 stations) GCOS Surface Network (GSN) (~ 1000 stations) Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) (22 global and 300 regional stations) Ocean Voluntary Observing Ships (~ 7000 ships, 52 countries) Global Sea-Level Observing System (~300 global sea-level stations) Argo ( ~ 3000 profiling floats, 14 countries) Terrestrial Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G) (~750 glaciers monitored) Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P) (300 boreholes, 15 states) Global Terrestrial Network for Hydrology (GTN-H) ( GTN-R, GTN-L) Space-based Observations Crucial for observation of 26 essential climate variables such as atmospheric temperature, precipitation, sea level, sea ice, etc.

6 GCOS Atmosphere Networks GCOS Surface Network (GSN)
1016 Stations (January 2007)

7 CLIMATE reports received at Deutscher Wetter- dienst (DWD) and Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) in 2006

8 GCOS Atmosphere Networks GCOS Upper Air Network (GUAN)
164 Stations (January 2007)

9 GCOS Atmosphere Networks GCOS Reference Upper Air Network (GRUAN)
GCOS Implementation Plan (Action Item A16) “Parties need to […] establish a high-quality reference network of about 30 precision radiosonde stations and other collocated observations” Motivation Problems for climate in accuracy, long-term stability and height Inevitable changes in measurement systems Lack of quality observations at high altitude Objectives Provide long-term, high-quality climate records Constrain and calibrate data from more spatially-comprehensive global observing systems (including satellites and current radiosonde networks) Fully characterize the properties of the atmospheric column Initiation Meeting of GRUAN in Lindenberg, February 2008

10 GCOS Ocean Networks Argo Network
3006 free-drifting profiling floats (October 2007)

11 GCOS Ocean Networks Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS)
290 sea-level monitoring stations worldwide (July 2007)

12 GCOS Terrestrial Networks Global Terrestrial Network for River (GTN-R)
380 river discharge reference stations on the river outlet (July 2006)

13 GCOS Terrestrial Networks Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G)
Vernagtferner glacier (Eastern European Alps) is one of the glaciers monitored in the GTN-G (Weber, 2006)

14 Space-based Observing Systems in Support of GCOS Observation of Terrestrial Variables from Space
Land Cover Properties from Satellites (European Commission Joint Research Centre, Ispra)

15 GCOS Serving Users’ Needs
Climate system monitoring Applications and services for sustainable development Operational climate prediction, especially on seasonal to inter-annual time scales Research to improve understanding, modelling and prediction of the climate system Climate change detection and attribution Assessing impacts of, vulnerability and adaptation to, climate variability and change Meeting the requirements of the UNFCCC and other international conventions and agreements

16 Major Achievements of GCOS
Implementation Plan in Support of the UNFCCC (2004) and Satellite Supplement (2006): the roadmap for the global climate observing system in the next 5-10 years Designation of Essential Climate Variables (ECVs): 44 key geophysical variables Regional Workshop Programme and 10 Regional Action Plans (RAPs) Promotion of “Climate for Development in Africa” Programme (ClimDev Africa)

17 Major Achievements of GCOS
Implementation of GCOS Surface (GSN) and Upper Air (GUAN) baseline networks GCOS as the climate observation component of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) GCOS contributes to the work of UNFCCC and provides an essential input to the UNFCCC Nairobi Work Programme on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change

18 GCOS Implementation Plan (October 2004)
Builds on requirements in the ‘Second Adequacy Report’ (2003) Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) Integrated global analysis products Uses existing global, regional and national plans Defines indicators for measuring its implementation Sets implementation priorities, agents and resource requirements 131 Actions Estimated USD 631M additional annually recurring cost Major satellite component

19 Essential Climate Variables (ECVs)
Domain Essential Climate Variables Atmo-spheric (over land, sea and ice) Surface: Air temperature, Precipitation, Air pressure, Surface radiation budget, Wind speed and direction, Water vapour. Upper-air: Earth radiation budget (including solar irradiance), Upper-air temperature, Wind speed and direction, Water vapour, Cloud properties. Composition: Carbon dioxide, Methane, Ozone, Other long-lived greenhouse gases, Aerosol properties. Oceanic Sea-surface temperature, Sea-surface salinity, Sea level, Sea state, Sea Ice, Current, Ocean colour (for biological activity), Carbon dioxide partial pressure. Sub-surface: Temperature, Salinity, Current, Nutrients, Carbon, Ocean tracers, Phytoplankton. Terrestrial River discharge, Water use, Ground water, Lake levels, Snow cover, Glaciers and ice caps, Permafrost and seasonally-frozen ground, Albedo, Land cover (including vegetation type), Fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR), Leaf area index (LAI), Biomass, Fire disturbance, Soil moisture.

20 Global Climate Monitoring Principles and Data Exchange
GCOS Climate Monitoring Principles (GCMPs) Endorsed in their basic form by the UNFCCC in 1999 Completed by satellite specific monitoring principles in 2003 Provide overall guidance for the design and implementation of GCOS observing systems Data Exchange Aim to ensure the free and unrestricted availability of data from all observing networks (WMO Resolutions 25 and 40) Unrestricted exchange of all GCOS data as a global public good

21 Regional Workshop Programme
Requested by UNFCCC COP-5 (1999) “… to identify the priority capacity building needs related to participation in systematic observation….” The objectives for each workshop were to: Assess contribution of the region to the GCOS Baseline Networks Identify national/regional needs and deficiencies in climate data Initiate development of Regional Action Plans for improving observing systems Understand guidelines for reporting to the UNFCCC Highlight GCOS objectives and needs in the regions

22 Regional Workshop Programme
GCOS has led the completion of all ten regional workshops in the Programme (10 Workshops from 2000 to 2005) …and of all ten Regional Action Plans Promotion of follow-up implementation activities including the evolving “Climate for Development in Africa” Programme (ClimDev Africa) Additional implementation activites planned in other regions, e.g. Central America

23 Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev Africa)
An integrated, multipartner programme addressing climate observations, climate services, climate risk management, and climate policy needs in Africa Programme will support efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals Opportunity for substantial funding support for observations and climate service provision programmes of African NMHSs Principal partners are: African Union, African Development Bank, UN Economic Commission for Africa, WMO and GCOS Potential donors include UK Department for International Development, European Commission, African Development Bank

24 GCOS at the National Level
Climate observing networks are mainly funded, managed and operated by national entities National GCOS Coordinators and National GCOS Committees provide effective coordination of national and local institutions National Focal Points in more than 130 countries Report of the national climate observing system in Switzerland, including a complete inventory of Swiss climate measurement series GCOS Switzerland, December 2007

25 System Improvement Programme
GCOS provides support needed from the scientific, donor and host communities to implement selected improvements, especially for GUAN and GSN stations. First launch of a ballon at Gan, Maldives (Photo: UK MetOffice)

26 Thank you
For more information about the GCOS programme please visit our website Contact Information GCOS Secretariat c/o World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) 7 bis, Avenue de la Paix P.O. Box 2300 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland Tel: Fax: Reporting Relations Impact of WG recommendations (e.g. for UNFCCC)

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