The U.S. GCOS Program [http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/usgcos/index.htm] at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is involved in working to implement a sustainable and robust GCOS observing network for international atmospheric, oceanographic, and terrestrial climate observing. US GCOS support is provided in a three-tiered approach involving a series of international, regional, and bi-lateral projects.
The support for GCOS in developing nations fits in with plans for possibly extending the capability of the U.S. Climate Reference Network (CRN) [http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn] into a larger effort for establishing an international surface reference monitoring effort aligned with GCOS. The first Synthesis and Assessment product produced by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, Product 1.1. Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences, which was released in April 2006 and has specific recommendations related to GCOS with particular emphasis on the need for reference climate observing sites. That report is posted at http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/default.htm.
NCDC is interested in developing partnerships for installing a network of CRN sites which could be used as part of a global long-term climate reference network to be used in data sparse high elevation and high latitude locations (e.g., the American Cordillera, Arctic, and Antarctic regions). The scope of this extension will depend on the availability of resources. In concert with the International Polar Year (IPY), there is interest (based on available funding) in installing such reference GCOS surface stations, by building on what has been done to date in Alaska and Canada, by installing stations in the Russian Arctic and Greenland. Preliminary planning for the installation of a CRN site in Tiksi, Russia, has begun in concert with the IPY's International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere project. Data from the Southern Hemisphere are also critically important, so locations in the Antarctic, and isolated island locations in the Southern Ocean are sought as additional possible sites. The goal is to partner with other national meteorological services in these areas that can assist with on-going maintenance and operations expenses.