2.5 The WMO Integrated Observing System (WIGOS) as an Example of Integrated Observing Network Design

Monday, 8 January 2018: 11:45 AM
Ballroom G (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Lars Peter Riishojgaard, WMO, Geneva, Switzerland

The WMO Integrated Observing System (WIGOS) represents a major effort toward bringing all WMO and WMO co-sponsored observing systems into a single common design, management and regulatory framework. The main driver behind WIGOS is the quest of the WMO Members for increased efficiency and effectiveness in the acquisition of meteorological observations. The demand for observational data for all aspects of weather, climate, atmospheric composition and related areas continues to grow rapidly, while the budgets of the national met services historically responsible for acquiring them tend to be stagnant at best. Traditional network operators are therefore encouraged to partner which each other, with academia and with private sector partners rather than to engage in unnecessary competition and in setting up redundant or overlapping observational networks. It is clear that to do this successfully will require an integrated approach, but what, exactly, are we referring to when using the term integration?

In the context of WIGOS, the concept of integration manifests itself in at least five somewhat distinct and yet inter-linked ways, namely (i) integrated network design (ii) the use of multi-purpose networks, integrated across application areas, (iii) integration across national and organizational boundaries, (iv) integration across technology boundaries, e.g. between space-and surface-based components, and finally (v) integration across layers of multi-tiered networks. The presentation will provide examples of each of these five types of integration along with the advantages they provide. We will also discuss some of the potential political and economic obstacles to integration along with current WMO activities aimed at addressing them.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner