GCOS GOOS WCRP/OOPC IX/3
6.1 Global Climate Observing System (GCOS)
The focus of GCOS has remained on the Second Adequacy Report (2AR) in response
to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was submitted in
December 2003, and on its Implementation Plan, which is to be submitted in the fall of 2004.
The GCOS framework of sparse and baseline networks, and its emphasis on treating each
Essential Climate Variable (ECV) separately has been a tough fit at times to the composite
ocean networks, which are made up of many different types of sensors. In preparing the
Implementation Plan (IP), there has been a lot of pressure to prioritize, which has been
resisted. But generally, the Next Steps that emerged from the 1998 Ocean Observations
conference and that are advocated by the OOPC have made it into the GCOS IP intact.
GCOS has initiated a Donor Fund for the purchase of consumables in developing the
climate network in less developed countries. Perhaps the only component of the ocean
climate observing network that could benefit from this mechanism is the coastal tide gauge
network. Further details of the initiative are in development.
Discussion by the OOPC focused on making sure input into the ocean part of the IP
reflected the panel s concerns surface variables had a tendency to be lost between the
atmospheric and oceanic sections of the plan. The chair noted positive points of the GCOS IP:
it brings attention to a number of cross cutting issues relating to the continuity and quality of
satellite observations, data sharing and standards, analysis and reanalysis, and engagement
with the research community. The UNFCCC has specifically asked for a report on progress
on the implementation of the ocean observing network for climate for the Spring of 2005;
GOOS will take the lead in preparing this report along with GCOS.
The OOPC s twin panel for the atmosphere in GCOS, the Atmosphere Observation
Panel for Climate (AOPC), shares OOPC s interest in improving real time operational
products at the air sea interface, and has strongly supported the ocean surface components of
the Next Steps . The common Working Group on Sea Level Pressure has largely focused on
reconstructions rather than improving operational products. The SURFA project will now fall
under the WCRP s Working Group on Surface Fluxes, and OOPC panel members emphasized
the importance of forward momentum in this project, which has been lacking.
6.2 Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS)
The GOOS Steering Committee (GSC) has continued its support for the basic set of
recommendations on the global component of the ocean observing system advocated by the
OOPC. The I GOOS has been asked to give priority for moving forward with implementation
through national efforts, and the IOC Executive Council will be asked to solicit
implementation progress information. The GSC has emphasized the importance of
participating in the GEO Implementation Plan.
The Coastal Ocean Observation Panel (COOP) has come far in its planning, with the
basis of actions being organized around the GOOS Regional Associations (GRAs). It will be
important to link global scale phenomena to local scales, and the OOPC may be able to
suggest pilot projects, we should consider placing a higher priority on this activity.
National data sharing remains incomplete between nations that contribute to GOOS.
This point was discussed for some time within the committee. It was pointed out that while
there are many CLIVAR relevant datasets, few of them are collected through CLIVAR.