GCOS GOOS WCRP/OOPC IX/3 
page 55 
2)  Observing  practice  literature,  both  national  and  international,  is  an  important  aspect  of 
climate metadata. Two of the more important decisions recorded in this literature were the 
historical WMO/Commission for Marine Meteorology (CMM) decisions which improved 
VOS data and the Marine Climatological Summaries Scheme (MCSS). To document the 
evolution of observing practice, a procedure for identifying, archiving and distributing this 
type  of  metadata  should  be  developed. The  archive  should  be  updated  through  JCOMM 
and  its  ETMC,  without  destroying  the  older  entries,  when  observational  practice  is 
updated.  Eventually,  the  archive  could  also  link  to  the  results  of  instrument  validations 
and comparison studies.  
3)   An  archive  of  metadata  for  moored  and  drifting  buoys,  and  other  ODAS  (e.g.  offshore 
platforms),  should  be  filled  by  Members,  with  WMO  coordination,  as  soon  as  possible 
with information on both current and historical deployments.  
4) If possible, a given buoy should have  a unique identifier. The re use of identifiers (buoy 
numbers)  for  different  buoys  can  cause  erroneous  application  of  metadata.  If  buoy 
numbers must be reused, the metadata should include sufficient features (e.g., timestamps) 
so that they can be correctly applied.  
5)  Metadata,  including  information  on  homogeneity  adjustments  applied,  should  be  clearly 
linked to data.  
Homogenisation 
1)  It remains essential to acquire data from independent platforms (e.g. VOS, buoys, research 
vessels,  satellites),  to  allow  independent  validation  and  homogenisation  of  records.  The 
important VOSClim data validation and improvement project should be continued. 
2)  There is a need to investigate the best way of applying wind homogenization techniques in 
the absence of adequate metadata. 
3)  Proxy  data  (e.g.  coral based  SST  estimates)  should  be  carefully  matched  with 
instrumental  data,  following  the  GCOS  Climate  Monitoring  Principles.  Error adjusted 
annual fields may help in this process. 
4)  Continue  efforts  to  make  QC  of  data  more  consistent  and  effective,  including 
documenting and homogenising the methods used as much as possible. 
Uncertainties 
1)  Consider  forming  a  working  group  on  uncertainties  in  climate  data  and  analyses.  This 
should include all climate data, not just marine, and the group could appropriately work with, 
and report to, the GCOS Panels and IPCC. 
Data availability 
1) We need to simplify and accelerate data access to users, especially new comers to the field. 
There should be a  route map  to the best available data. JCOMM should work with the 
GCOS Panels and appropriate research groups to identify operational, and experimental, 
integrated climate information products and put them on their web portal.  
2)  The  successful  International  Marine  Meteorological  Archive  (IMMA)  format  developed 
under the ETMC should continue to be used. 
3)  Support  should  be  given  to  initiatives  to  improve  the  quality  of  research  vessel  surface 
meteorological and oceanographic data and to widen access to these data and associated 
metadata. 
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