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Assessing Climate Observations session

Assessing Climate Observations: call for papers at Our Common Future

Abstract submission is now open for the following session on "Assessing Climate Observations" at Our Common Future Under Climate Change meeting in Paris, July 7-10, 2015. The deadline for submission of contributed talks is 10 March

Assessing Climate Observations

Lead Conveners:B. Baker (1); J.-L. Fellous (2)
Co-Conveners: S. Briggs (3); D. Carlson (4); A. Cazenave (5); A.Ratier (6); C. Richter (7); P. Ultré-Guérard (8).
(1) NOAA/OAR/ARL/ATDD, Oak Ridge, USA; (2) COSPAR, Paris, France; (3) ESA, Harwell, United Kingdom; (4) WCRP, Geneva, Switzerland; (5) CNES/LEGOS, Toulouse, France; (6) EUMETSAT, Darmstadt, Germany; (7) GCOS, Geneva, Switzerland; (8) CNES, Paris, France.

The last two decades have clearly shown that there is a regular need to reassess observational capabilities and report on progress made related to the actions recommended to fully implement the global observing system for climate. The latest Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Progress Report in 2009 concluded that implementation of the various observing systems in support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) had progressed significantly over the previous five years, but that it would be difficult to sustain funding for many important systems. The report noted that there had been only limited progress toward filling the gaps in observing systems in developing countries and that there was still a long way to go before a fully implemented global observing system for climate could be achieved.

Climate research and monitoring requires an observational strategy that blends long term, carefully calibrated measurements as well as short-term, focused process studies. Operating climate observing networks and providing climate services, have a significant role to play in assisting the development of national adaptation policies and in facilitating national economic development. Climate observing systems will require a strong research element for a long time to come. It is clear that we still need more research and analysis on climate processes, sampling strategies, and processing algorithms.

GCOS provides the mechanism for climate research and emerging climate services to provide input into the international process for defining the /in situ/ and space-based observing systems required over the next decade and beyond for climate studies and applications. Its sponsors and partners, in particular Parties to the UNFCCC, space agencies and the World Climate Research Programme, encouraged GCOS to continue to report on the status of climate observing systems and to assess progress. The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) has sponsored a roadmap study for Integrated Earth System Science in the period 2015-2025. CNES, ESA, EUMETSAT, NOAA and other space agencies worldwide, associated within the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) and the Coordinating Group on Meteorological Satellites (CGMS), work at implementing and sustaining the space-based component of GCOS, and at producing long time-series of climate-quality data for the Essential Climate Variables accessible to space observation.

The session will showcase the rich datasets used by the global Earth science community. It will assess which climate observations are made, what are the remaining gaps identified by the scientific community for better understanding climate processes and their impacts on ecosystems and human society. It will also evaluate the technical capacity to observe new variables, and discuss whether and how the list of Essential Climate Variables should be updated. The conveners also invite papers that cover topics that include design and implementation of National Climate Observing Networks and the use of climate observing networks for improved climate data and information.