83rd Annual

Tuesday, 11 February 2003: 4:00 PM
Second Report on the Adequacy of the Global Climate Observing Systems Conclusions on atmospheric and oceanic observations
D. E. Harrison, Global Climate Observing System/GOOS/WCRP Ocean Observing Panel for Climate, Seattle, WA
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.


With guidance from the Chair, GCOS Steering Committee, the chairs of the three GCOS Science Panels lead a team of lead and contributing authors, who were responsible for the preparation of the report and its scientific appendices. The Terms of Reference were 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; including 1. the degree to which these networks meet scientific requirements and conform with associated observing principles, drawing on the goals published in the Plan for the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS-14) and the published plans of the domain-based Panels and 2. how well these current systems together with planned improvements will meet the needs of the Convention, including those associated with the development of climate impacts and adaptation strategies;

The first goal was to produce a draft report addressing the above objectives with the aid of a team of experts from all observing domains and in consultation with members of the GCOS SC and scientists involved in the IPCC. The draft report should consider: 1. Availability of components for identifying long term trends and for improving spatial details, that are vital for individual regions and countries, for each of the needed parameters. 2. Final quality-controlled data to the Parties and the IPCC science community. 3. 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.

Then GCOS was to ensure that this report is subject to open review, involving presentation to appropriate communities, and considers the balance of views of the wider community and interested Parties prior to submission to the GCOS SC and then SBSTA.

The paper will highlight the analysis process within the oceanic domain and discuss the emerging scientific conclusions concerning the atmospheric and oceanic climate observing systems. Where appropriate, the priority opportunities and needs and the potential implications for the scientific and observational communities will be outlined.


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