Development of an Architecture for Climate Monitoring from Space

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Monday, 3 February 2014: 2:00 PM
Room C111 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Wenjian Zhang, WMO, Geneva, Switzerland; and J. Lafeuille and S. Bojinski

The development of an architecture for climate monitoring from space, proposed by the World Meteorological Organization, the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) and the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS), calls for an international end-to-end framework of activities that ensures delivery of climate data records derived from satellite observations. The architecture shall respond to the requirements of WMO, GCOS, GEOSS and the broader climate application user community, for both the long-term monitoring of the Earth's climate system, and the characterization of climate extreme events in near-real time. It will build upon a constellation of research and operational satellites, either existing or planned by space agencies, supported by open data-sharing policies, contingency planning, data processing, stewardship and long-term preservation, validation mechanisms involving surface observations, and user interfaces.

The most relevant and comprehensive set of specific user requirements is provided by GCOS within their supple¬ment “Systematic Observation Requirements for Satellite- Based Products for Climate (GCOS-154) to the GCOS Implementation Plan (GCOS-138). The Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) Implementation Plan, recently approved by the World Meteorological Congress Extraordinary Session 2012 adds another dimension to the require¬ments in establishing a direct link to climate applications. It defines climate services as climate information prepared and delivered to meet users' needs. The GFCS describes a need for climate services in many application areas ranging from disaster risk reduction, agriculture and food security, water resources, health, to energy management, and highlights the need to support developing countries in particular.

Significant progress has been made over the last few decades in observing the Earth globally, with higher temporal and spatial resolution. However, a number of issues associated with satellite observation, data, and products for climate monitoring remain to be addressed. These include, among others, instrument calibration, the absence of documented measurement traceability and uncertainty budgets, as well as e.g. changes in the satellite observation time due to orbital drift during the lifetime of some sun-synchronous satellites.

Within the WMO context, the architecture shall be part of the space-based component of WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS). It would include the inter-calibration activities of the Global Space-based Inter- Calibration System (GSICS), the product generation efforts as done within the SCOPE-CM and should benefit of the training and capacity-building activities of the Virtual Laboratory (VLab). Existing in situ networks provide observations of some parameters that are difficult and/or impossible to measure from space, therefore enhancing synergy between in-situ and space-based observing systems is thus essential, and will be taken into account in the development of the architecture.

Representatives from CEOS, CGMS and the WMO Space Programme, have written a report titled, “Strategy towards an Architecture for Monitoring Climate from Space”. The presentation will, based upon the key recommendations of the report, elaborate on WMO's views on the development of such an architecture conceptually and physically, to ensure that the information flows (from requirements to implementation, and from observations to decision-making) are capable of meeting both policy and operational needs.