26th Conference on Interactive Information and Processing Systems (IIPS) for Meteorology, Oceanography, and Hydrology
14th Symposium on Integrated Observing and Assimilation Systems for the Atmosphere, Oceans, and Land Surface (IOAS-AOLS)


The Global Climate Observing System(GCOS) after World Climate Conference-3: The GCOS role in the new Global Framework for Climate Services

John Zillman, Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Vic., Australia

The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) was established in 1991, in response to the exhortations of the 1990 Second World Climate Conference, as a global system of climate-relevant components of established atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial observing systems , to support all the components of the World Climate Programme and associated activities such as the climate change assessment work of the Intergovernmental Panel on climate Change(IPCC). Through the latter part of the 1990's and over the past decade , its planning and implementation have focussed increasingly on meeting the 'systematic observation' commitments of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) and on providing observational support for climate risk management and adaptation within countries under the UNFCCC Nairobi Work Programme. In 2004 , the GCOS Steering Committee , Panels and Secretariat produced a Convention-focussed 'Implementation Plan for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC' and a satellite supplement which was subsequently adopted by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites(CEOS) as a framework for implementation of the space-based components of GCOS. The June 2009 30th Session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) reviewed the implementation of GCOS in support of the Convention over the period 2004-08 and endorsed the preparation of an Update of the Plan which is now essentially completed. The Third World Climate Conference ( officially , World Climate Conference-3 (WCC-3)), in Geneva in August-September 2009 took stock of progress with all aspects of the implementation of GCOS over the past 18 years and initiated an important new phase in its development as the observational component of the proposed new UN System-wide Global Framework for Climate Services(GFCS) . While this will involve the maintenance and strengthening of GCOS' established role in support of the World Climate Research Programme(WCRP) , the IPCC and the UNFCCC, much greater effort will now be directed to providing observational support for the new information and prediction component of the proposed GFCS which will build on, and largely supersede, the former World Climate Data and Monitoring Programme (WCDMP) and World Climate Applications and Services Programme(WCASP) as the service-provision components of the World Climate Programme; and especially , also, for the new user interface component of the proposed GFCS which will involve a much wider range of sectoral impact variables than have traditionally been regarded as part of 'climate'.This presentation will outline a strategy for the future development of GCOS ,within the overall framework of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems(GEOSS), as the observational component of the emerging Global Framework for Climate Services in the wake of the Third World Climate Conference.

Recorded presentation

Joint Session 1, Global environmental observing systems including, but not limited to, the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), and Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS) - Part I
Thursday, 21 January 2010, 8:30 AM-9:45 AM, B217

Next paper

Browse or search entire meeting

AMS Home Page