In its first of three phases, five pilot projects have been selected to provide high quality long-term data sets for climate relevant parameters Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) as articulated by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). Each of the operational space agencies lead one or more of these pilot projects with collaboration from one or more of the remaining agencies. Currently, the projects focus on clouds and aerosols from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), water vapor, clouds and precipitation from the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I), and surface Albedo, clouds and aerosols, winds and clear sky radiances and upper Tropospheric humidity from geostationary satellites.
Several other organizations participate on an advisory panel in order to ensure maximize input from and coordination with research entities, and minimize any potential duplication of effort with other relevant initiatives and/or organizations. In addition to GCOS, included among these stakeholders are the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS), the Global Space-based Inter-calibration System (GSICS) and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) particularly through its Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX).
As more attention is being given to monitoring climate and climate change from space, it is essential that we consider the entire value chain -- from observations, to inter-calibration of those observations, to product generation, to the ultimate delivery of climate-quality products and services to end users -- when discussing R2O issues. Experience gained from the international coordination efforts associated with SCOPE-CM can inform future discussions regarding R2O challenges.