Committee on Earth Observation Satellites


Status and Plans

Carolin Richter

Plenary Agenda Item 7

29 th CEOS Plenary

Kyoto International Conference


Kyoto, Japan

5 – 6 November 2015

Review of the GCOS programme

Strategic Recommendations:

Mission Statement,

Cooperation between sponsors and GCOS

Secretariat, terrestrial climate observations, strategic approach to capacity building, joint strategic plan to define the functions of GCOS in GFCS,

ECV concept.

Partnerships: relations with GEO, PROVIA, Future Earth, GFCS

Memorandum of Understanding:

Currently Revised by ICSU, UNEP and IOC.

GCOS Programme Review

Supporting Climate Services

Workshops on Adaption & Mitigation

• Workshops held on Mitigation (with GOFC-

GOLD) and Adaption (with IOC, UNEP and

DECC, and more recently with UNFCCC and


• Information and products are inadequate for adaptation:

• Adaptation is local:


Neither global climate models nor satellite-based forecasting systems are yet good enough to support decisions made at the local level;


Need to invest in the ground-based network of primary hydro-meteorological observations;


Need to establish and improve mechanisms to provide data access and data descriptions.

Workshop Report submitted to UNFCCC SBSTA43 / COP21

SBSTA 41 invited the GCOS secretariat to provide the report on a workshop on enhancing observations to support preparedness and adaptation in a changing climate – learning from the IPCC 5 th

Assessment Report. This workshop has been held from 10 to 12

February 2015 in Bonn, and was organised in collaboration with the

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United

Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Report of the GCOS Workshop on Enhancing Observations to Support

Preparedness and Adaptation in a Changing Climate – Learning from the

IPCC 5 th Assessment Report, GCOS-191, 10 – 12 February 2015, Bonn,



GCOS Status Report 2015

GCOS Status Report - the assessment cycle

Following the Second Adequacy Report in 2003, GCOS produced:

‒ an Implementation Plan in 2004

‒ a Supplement to the Plan in 2006 on requirements for satellite-based data products

‒ a Progress Report in 2009

‒ an updated Implementation Plan in 2010

‒ an updated Satellite Supplement in 2011


‒ welcomed the 2010 Plan and urged Parties to work towards implementation

‒ invited a subsequent progress report and encouraged a review of adequacy

‒ welcomed the timetable proposed by GCOS for

‒ a Status Report in 2015

‒ a new Implementation Plan in 2016

Status Report submitted to UNFCCC SBSTA43/COP21

• GCOS fulfils the responsibility to review and assess the development and implementation of the component parts of the climate observing system and to report to its sponsors, partners and to UNFCCC.

• CEOS is responding to GCOS implementation plans and related supplements.

• A report on the “Status of the Global Observing System for

Climate” has been prepared during the period from May to

October 2015 with contributions from panels and external experts.

It has been submitted to public review during summer of 2015, and has been delivered to SBSTA on 20 October 2015, for presentation at COP21 in Paris. It will be published for wider distribution early


Release of GCOS Status Report

Download from:

Principal Findings

For in situ and other non-space-based components

For space-based components

Data-centre holdings

Global reanalysis

International organization of observing systems

Principal Findings for space-based components – slide 1/4

• The newer and planned generations of operational meteorological satellite systems offer improved quality and a broader range of measurements. China is becoming established as the provider of a third pillar in the constellation of polar-orbiting systems.

• The European Copernicus programme is placing additional types of observation on an operational basis, with increased coverage and quality of measurement, and accompanying service provision.

Principal Findings for space-based components – slide 2/4

• There have been increases in the numbers of national providers, co-operative international missions and other collaborative arrangements.

• There has been very little progress on the continuation of limb sounding and the establishment of a reference mission.

• Continuity of measurement is at risk for solar irradiance and for sea-surface temperature at microwave frequencies.

Principal Findings for space-based components – slide 3/4

• New observational capabilities have been demonstrated, and others are being prepared for demonstration. Future deployment is uncertain for some of the demonstrated capabilities, for example for monitoring cloud and aerosol profiles, sea-ice thickness and soil moisture.

• The generation and supply of products derived from spacebased observations have progressed well, with increasing attention paid to documenting product quality and uncertainty.

Principal Findings for space-based components – slide 4/4

• Inter-agency cooperation has been effective in product validation and in starting to develop an architecture for climate monitoring from space and an inventory of products.

• Data access is becoming more open, although there is still progress to be made. Some data remain to be recovered from early missions, and long-term preservation of data, including occasional reprocessing, is not yet fully ensured.

New Implementation Plan 2016

NEW GCOS Implementation Plan (IP)

SBSTA 37 invited the GCOS secretariat to provide the final implementation plan to SBSTA 45 in 2016.

The new implementation plan is envisaging broadening its scope to global

Earth`s environmental cycles, i.e., energy, carbon and water, and inter alia taking into account Sustainable Development Goals, climate services, climate indicators and relevant outcomes of discussions during COP21. It will advise on new requirements for measures needed for adaptation to a changing climate, and measures to mitigate climate changes.

The new plan will lay out a new strategic approach to further implement the

Global Climate Observing System and will introduce a section on cross-cutting disciplines and on scientific and technological challenges.


Draft Table of Contents – discussed at SC-23, 1 October 2015

New Implementation Plan – WG CEOS-CGMS slide 1/2

Have a small expert team finding a definition for Land Surface Temperature

(radiative temperature of the surface) as a proposed new ECV. (GCOS SC23,


Workshop on ECV Albedo, LAI and FAPAR (GCOS SC23): product availability, adequacy, coverage, link to radiation budget?

Expanding this work shop to include related ECVs, for example: soil moisture

New Implementation Plan – WG CEOS-CGMS slide 2/2

Implementation Plan for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC - October, 2004

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 -

September 2006


Implementation Plan (2010 Update), August 2010

“Satellite Supplemental” 2011 Update, December 2011


New GCOS Implementation Plan, in December 2016

Satellite Supplement: Can it be published in parallel to the new implementation plan with regard to the timing of the CEOS response to


Road Map for the New Plan



June July


17-18 March


14-17 April

Sep 28


Dec Jan

Development of Implemetation



Status Report


Writing Team:

2-4 Feb 2016, JRC

24-26 May 2016, JRC


AOPC, OOPC 4 – 8 April

TOPC 25 – 27 April




Review of IP









Finalisation of

Status Report

Finalisation of



GCOS Science

Conference: The

Road to the


2 - 4 March 2016,

Amsterdam, The