83rd Annual

Tuesday, 11 February 2003: 3:45 PM
Second Report on the Adequacy of the Global Climate Observing Systems Scientific process and emerging conclusions
Paul J. Mason, Global Climate Observing System, Bracknell, Berks., United Kingdom
The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) is preparing an international assessment -Second Report on the Adequacy of Global Climate Observing Systems - for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This second Adequacy Report will be presented to the 18th session of the UNFCCC's Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) in June 2003. SBSTA encouraged GCOS to complete the final report on an expedited schedule both "to provide a framework for further work to improve global monitoring systems" and "to enable substantive consideration of the report at the ninth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) in late 2003.


The Report is being prepared under the overall direction of the Chair of the GCOS Steering Committee, which will approve the final Report. A team of lead and contributing authors will be responsible for the preparation of the report and its scientific appendices. The goals are to:

· Determine what progress has been made in defining and implementing climate observing networks and systems since the first Adequacy Report prepared for COP-4; · Determine the degree to which these networks meet with scientific requirements and conform with associated observing principles; and · Assess how well these current systems, together with planned improvements, will meet the needs of the Convention.

The Adequacy Report builds on the compilation and synthesis of national reports and utilises data and information on operational and research observing systems from all available sources, such as national, regional and international organisations. For each of the needed parameters, the Adequacy Report will consider the availability of components for identifying long term trends and for improving spatial details which are vital for individual regions and countries. The Report will advise on the final quality-controlled data to the Parties and the IPCC science community. Since the climate observing system is not a static entity to simply be maintained, the report will also address new developments and emerging opportunities such as the increasing capabilities shown by satellite systems to provide long-term, calibrated climate observations, and new techniques for integrating global in situ and satellite observations.

The paper will discuss the scientific process for preparing the Adequacy Report and the open review mechanism to ensure wide access by all stakeholders, including the Parties to the FCCC. The emerging conclusions from the Adequacy process will be discussed and potential implications for the scientific and policy communities will be outlined.

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