Progress on the Global Observing System for Climate

Progress on the Global Observing System for Climate



26 October 2015

The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) has released its long-anticipated Report on the Status of the Global Observing System for Climate.   The Report will be presented to the Parties of the UN Climate Change Convention to support their deliberations at the climate conference in Paris (COP-21) later this year. As part of its continuing efforts to further strengthen climate monitoring, GCOS will hold a science conference entitled Global Climate Observation: The Road to the Future next March in Amsterdam; registration is now open.

Promoting surface and upper-air networks

GCOS also seeks to strengthen and sustain the GCOS Surface Network (GSN) and the GCOS Upper-Air Network (GUAN). The GCOS Surface Network is a subset of roughly 1000 baseline surface stations of WMO`s World Weather Watch.  A select set of 150 upper air stations has been designated as the GCOS Upper-Air Network. GSN and GUAN became the initial baseline components of the atmospheric networks. Designation of these networks benefitted the GCOS and the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs).

For GCOS, designation helped incorporate climate requirements into meteorological service procedures. For NMHSs, designation of a station as part of the global climate network helped sustain support for these long-running sites. These networks provided the foundation for the Regional Basic Climatological Network, which provides far greater spatial detail on the variability of climate. 

Both networks, GSN and GUAN, need continuous performance monitoring, regular maintenance and sustained technical and operational support.  A dedicated GCOS System Improvement Programme managed by Network Manager Mr Tim Oakley is assisting WMO members with these tasks.  As a token of appreciation, the GCOS Secretariat has been handing out certificates of recognition to Members who have taken on the responsibility to operate GSN and GUAN stations. 

In October 2015 the expert team on Surface Based Observations of the WMO Commission for Basic Systems met in Tokyo, Japan. At the side lines Mr Oakley took the opportunity to present the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) with a GCOS certificate of recognition for Japan`s support of the GCOS Surface Network and GCOS Upper-Air Network stations.

Carolin Richter, Director of the GCOS Secretariat, and Stephen Briggs, Chairman of the GCOS Steering Committee, presented the Certificate of Recognition to Linda Makuleni, Chief Executive Officer of the South-African Weather Service (SAWS), on the side-lines of the GCOS Steering Committee Meeting, which was held from 29 September to 1 October 2015  in Simon`s Town, South Africa.

Share this page