2B.6 The essential climate variables (ECV) data access matrix a quick and convenient method to access global climate datasets

Monday, 24 January 2011: 5:15 PM
607 (Washington State Convention Center)
Christina Lief, NOAA/NCDC, Asheville, NC; and H. J. Diamond
Manuscript (208.8 kB)

The Global Observing Systems Information Center (GOSIC) [see http://gosic.org] was established by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) in 1997 as a way to provide better and more centralized access to an extremely diverse array of climate related datasets that cross atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial domains as well as from non-satellite, in-situ and satellite observing platforms. To aid in improving access to climate observing datasets, the GOSIC staff located at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center has developed an Essential Climate Variables (ECV)Data Access Matrix. The basic intent of the ECV matrix is to provide users with a centralized resource to access climate observing datasets from trusted sources for each of the defined atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial variables as well as metadata and reference documentation. Non-satellite, in-situ and satellite based datasets are constantly being identified as being the best available collection of data for a particular variable. Information on spatial and temporal coverage, data gaps, quality control and additional data needs is also available on the matrix. The ECV Matrix is meant to be a ‘one-stop-shop' to access trusted ECV datasets and information and can be accessed online at: http://gosic.org/ios/MATRICES/ECV/ECV-matrix.htm

GCOS first defined a list of the ECVs in 2003 that were identified as “feasible for global implementation and have a high impact” on the requirements of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Originally there were 44 ECVs that include such variables as air temperature, precipitation, sea surface temperature, salinity, snow cover, and albedo. By the end of August 2010, GCOS will publish an updated set of ECVs that builds on the original set of ECVs by adding variables such as soil moisture, soil carbon, ocean oxygen content, and also recognizing the role of precursors in forming ozone and aerosols.

The ECV matrix was developed by the GOSIC staff in order to provide users with easier access to data and information from the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS) and their partner programs; however, the matrix does not provide access to as many climate observing datasets as it could, and as such, the GOSIC staff is continually working with users and data providers to ensure that we capture as many of the various climate observing datasets as possible. The GOSIC staff invites persons to become actively involved in the site by providing us feedback at ; the staff is quite responsive and their goal is to provide the easiest and most convenient access to global climate observing datasets from the atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial observing domains.

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