The monitoring and analysis centers produce monthly and annual reports, which while very useful, have not always led to follow-up communication and appropriate remedial action by particular National Meteorological and Hydrology Services (NMHSs). To address this apparent deficiency, the WMO Commission for Basic Systems (CBS) established five GCOS “Lead Centers” within the WMO Regional Associations (RA) around the world. These are currently located in Morocco (responsible for northern parts of WMO RA I Africa); Tokyo, Japan (responsible for eastern parts of RA II Asia); Iran (responsible for western parts of RA II Asia); USA (responsible for RA IV North America plus Hawaiian Islands); and Australia (responsible for RA V Pacific Islands, less Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Hawaiian Islands). Three additional lead centers are also planned for RA I (Africa), southern parts; RA III (Antarctica); and possibly RA VI (Europe).
The main purpose of a “Lead Center” is to monitor and evaluate climate data performance reports in order to diagnose the quality, availability and successful communication of GCOS data. They also have the authority to contact individual countries directly and resolve any climate data issues that have been identified. This presentation provides an overview of these Lead Centers by describing their establishment, geographical coverage, roles, procedures and some of their results.
It is expected that the establishment of the Lead Centers will ultimately lead to improved quality and availability of climate data which will in turn enable enhanced understanding of climate change and variability, and will provide the basis for further studies on impacts and adaptation strategies.