Global Climate Observing System
GCOS Planning
- Scoping of the Progress Report and
the new Implementation Plan 4th Meeting of CEOS-CGMS Working Group on Climate
EUMETSAT, Darmstadt, Germany
5 – 7 March 2014
Carolin Richter, Director, GCOS Secretariat,
Continuous improvement and assessment cycle
Milestones 1992 - 2011
1992: Establishment of GCOS as an outcome of the Second World Climate Conference (1990)
1995: Plan for the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), Publication No. GCOS-14, GCOS Plan for Space-based
Observations, Publication No. GCOS-15
1998: Report on the Adequacy of the Global Climate Observing Systems – United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change, Publication No. GCOS-48, COP-4, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2003: Second Report on the Adequacy of the Global Observing Systems for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC,
Publication No. GCOS-82, COP- 9, Milan, Italy
2004: Implementation Plan for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC, Publication No.
GCOS-92, COP-10, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2006: Systematic Observation Requirements for Satellite-based Products for Climate – Supplemental Details to
the Satellite-based Component of the Implementation Plan for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support
of the UNFCCC, Publication No. GCOS-107
2009: Progress Report on the Implementation of the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC
2004–2008, Publication No. GCOS 129, COP-15, Copenhagen, Denmark
2010: Implementation Plan for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC (2010 Update),
Publication No. GCOS-138, COP-16, Cancun, Mexico
2011: Systematic Observation Requirements for Satellite-based Products for Climate Supplemental details to
the satellite-based component of the Implementation Plan for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of
the UNFCCC - 2011 Update
How well are we doing
in implementing a global observing system for climate ?
Essential Climate Variables
Continuous improvement and assessment cycle
meeting all criteria
not feasible
New Plan 2016
Data set
generation &
Scoping the Assessment Report
• How to report on ECVs?
Scoping Report
ECV Information (Table prepared for TOPC Meeting)
ECV Template
GCOS Continuous Improvement & Assessment Cycle
The GCOS programme has started the process for:
• a 2015 report on the progress and status of climate observation
• a new “Implementation Plan” in 2016, which should identify:
− continuing and new requirements, including a restatement of the rationale
for the list of ECVs and possible amendment of the list
− the adequacy of present arrangements for meeting the requirements
− the additional actions needed, with indicative costs, performance indicators
and potential agents for implementation
• statements of specific requirements for products
− from both in situ networks and the space-based component
− and from integration of the data provided by both
either embedded in the main Plan or as separate supplement(s)
Input to the new assessment
Content will be based on various inputs, including from:
• 2011 WCRP Conference and 2013 SPARC Data Workshop
• 2013/2014 IPCC Fifth Assessment Report
• 2013/2014 national reporting to UNFCCC on systematic observation
• 2014 EUMETSAT/WCRP Climate Symposium
• WMO (GFCS, WIGOS), IOC (GOOS) and post-2015 GEO planning
• CEOS/CGMS/WMO initiatives (Architecture, Inventory of datasets)
• other assessments of requirements (GEO, ESA CCI)
• assessments by GCOS/WCRP panels
• dedicated GCOS workshops
• an open review
Road Map for 2014 to 2016
Input to the Assessment
WIGOS Planning
WCRP Conference 2011
SPARC Data Workshop 2013
UNFCCC National Reports
IOC GOOS Planning
EUMETSAT-WCRP Climate Symposium (Oct 2014)
WCRP WDAC (May 2014)
GCOS Adaptation Workshop 2013
GEO Work Plan Symposium (April 2014)
CEOS-CGMS Response
GCOS GOFC-GOLD Mitigation Workshop (5-7 May 2014)
IPCC AR5 2013/2014
GCOS-IPCC WG II and DRR Workshop (Nov 2014)
WCRP-IPCC WG I Workshop (Sep 2014)
Space Architecture–ECV Inv.
Progress report
Report to SBSTA41
on status
Report to SBSTA43
Submission of Progress Report
For Public Review
Draft of
New Plan
Report to SBSTA45
Submission of new Plan
Implementation Plan (what kind of observations are needed ?)
What needs to be measured – by whom?
Much remains to be done:
GCOS Progress Report 2004-2008
Developed Countries:
improved climate observation
limited progress in resolving financial
issues related to long-term continuity
Developing Countries:
limited (in-situ) progress, with decline
in some regions,
capacity building support remains
small in relation to needs
Satellite agencies:
improved mission continuity and capability
increasingly meeting climate needs
Progress made, but:
Many gaps persist,
Continued int’l engagement needed
for coordinated implementation and
long-term continuity
GCOS Progress Report 2004-2008 – Atmosphere
• Good progress with availability, quality and exploitation of data from
satellites for climate purposes across the range of ECVs, from basic
meteorological variables to radiation and atmospheric composition
• Good progress in general with in-situ meteorological networks, and support
through the system improvement programme has helped maintaining a
baseline; however, overall progress in developing countries has been
• Some specific issues persist (e.g., measurement of precipitation,
clouds, snow depth; precipitation data exchange; sunshine obs;
• Good progress in advancing climate reference networks
• Improved planning and progress with implementation of
atmospheric composition networks meeting climate needs
GCOS Progress Report 2004-2008 – Oceans
• Useful progress in almost every action called for in the Plan, but many actions
remain incomplete.
• The ice-free upper 1500 m of the ocean are being observed systematically for
temperature and salinity for the first time in history.
• Most in-situ networks have made progress (e.g., tide gauges, moored reference
sites, tropical moored arrays, full ocean depth observations)
• Most in-situ observing activities continue to be carried out under research
agency support and on research programme time limits.
• Important progress in provision of critical ocean satellite data of sea surface
ECVs has been made, but not for all variables, and data access remains to be
• Important progress in development of historical ocean reanalysis and in high
resolution ocean forecasting capabilities.
• Promising developments in improved methods and standards will allow wider
measurement of biological and chemical ECVs and consideration of new ECVs
in the years ahead.
• Data sharing remains incomplete, particularly for tide gauges and
biogeochemical ECVs. Data archaeology needs to continue.
GCOS Progress Report 2004-2008 - Terrestrial
• Increasing significance and recognition of terrestrial
data for climate change adaptation and impact
• Good progress in defining standards for observation
of terrestrial variables
• Slow take-up of institutional support for terrestrial
climate observations has limited some in-situ
• Networks dealt with by research community show
some good progress
• Progress towards establishment of Global Terrestrial
Networks (GTN) for many of the ECV’s
• Good engagement of satellite needs including product
development, reprocessing and continuity