On Monday, 28 September, in Cape Town, participants from South Africa as well as around the world will gather for a GCOS science day to discuss long-term climate observations of essential climate variables relating to the atmosphere and terrestrial and marine systems, as well as their integration into comprehensive climate models. The day will feature presentations from leading foreign and South African climate scientists as well as open-discussion sessions.
The GCOS science day is being sponsored by the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) in collaboration with the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), the South African Weather Service (SAWS), and the Applied Centre for Climate & Earth Systems Science (ACCESS), as well as the GCOS Steering Committe.
GCOS is intended to be a long-term, user-driven, operational system capable of providing the comprehensive observations required for:
• Monitoring the climate system;
• Detecting and attributing climate change;
• Assessing impacts of, and supporting adaptation to, climate variability and change;
• Application to national economic development, and
• Research to improve understanding, modelling and prediction of the climate system.
GCOS addresses the total climate system, including physical, chemical and biological properties, and atmospheric, oceanic, terrestrial, hydrologic, and cryospheric components. It is responsible, within the United Nations framework, for ensuring a sustained, long term, reliable system for monitoring the global climate. An important aspect of this mission is the definition of Essential Climate Variables (ECVs), which are critical to our understanding of the climate.
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