87th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 1:45 PM
Towards a GCOS reference upper air network
207A (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
David M. Goodrich, Global Climate Observing System Secretariat, Geneva, Switzerland
Shortcomings in the current record of atmospheric climate change have lead to calls for a reference upper air network, a global network of 30-40 enhanced capability upper air stations built on, but not limited to, the current GCOS Upper Air Network of 161 stations. This reference network would provide long-term, high-quality climate records and would constrain and calibrate data from more spatially comprehensive observing systems, including satellites. In addition, it would measure a suite of co-related climate variables, including radiation properties, ozone and aerosol measurements.

A draft plan has been assembled on the basis of two workshops. The first, held in Boulder, CO, in 2005, included climate scientists and data users and established the climate requirements. Then in May of this year, instrumentation and network design specialists, together with observing system managers, met in Seattle, WA, to assess instrumentation and siting options. The plan will be available for comment this fall prior to the AMS meeting. Next steps include community review and discussion, coordination with relevant observing systems, and a phased implementation, building on existing sites.

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