Current Activities

The WGClimate undertakes a variety of activities in pursuit of its goals. Some major outcomes of these activities include:

Strategy Towards an Architecture for Climate Monitoring from Space

In January, 2011, the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Space Programme hosted “Continuity and Architecture Requirements for Climate Monitoring – First Workshop on a Space-based Architecture for Climate”, a workshop attended by both policy-level and technical experts that proposed representatives from CEOS, the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS), and WMO develop a strategy document for an architecture for climate monitoring from space.

This strategy report focuses on satellite observations for climate monitoring from space and the need for an international architecture that ensures delivery of these observations over the time frames required for analysis of the Earth’s climate system. The report outlines a strategy for such an architecture – a strategy that is intentionally high-level, conceptual, and inclusive so that broad consensus can be reached and all relevant entities can identify their potential contributions. The strategy, however, is not sufficient, in and of itself, and therefore first presents a logical architecture that represents an initial step in the development of a physical architecture – an end-to-end system – capable of delivering the necessary observations for climate monitoring from space. The immediate next step is to document current capabilities through a systematic and granular assessment of the production of the Thematic Climate Data Records at the level of individual agencies – producing an inventory of Essential Climate Variables (ECV).

Download: Strategy Report: An Architecture for Climate Monitoring from Space (2013)


The ECV Inventory

The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) has defined a set of geophysical variables – “Essential Climate Variables” (ECV) – that are associated with climate variation and change as well as the impact of climate change on Earth. CEOS, the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) have put together an inventory of the space agency datasets that make up the structure of the climate monitoring architecture for space-based observations. This inventory will inform specific analyses of and decisions about climate observations across all CEOS and CGMS Agencies, to include:

  • Maintaining awareness of the current and planned monitoring capability on an ECV basis across all Agencies
  • Defining an optimum “macro-scale” space system configuration and its components
  • Identifying gaps and shortfalls at the ECV/product level
  • Coordinating action plans to address identified gaps
  • Triggering of medium-term activities needed to sustain the long-term implementation of the architecture

Other possible applications of the ECV Inventory include more thorough investigations of inter-calibration options/opportunities, spatial coverage as an extension of ECV gap analyses, and potential opportunities for smaller space agencies to contribute to Thematic Climate Data Record creation, validation, and assessment.

Access the ECV Inventory to learn more.



The CEOS-CGMS Response to the GCOS IP and SS

The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) has undertaken a periodic cycle of assessment of the adequacy of the observations and derived products for meeting requirements for monitoring climate and global change in support of theUnited Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Following each assessment, GCOS has identified the needs for continuing, improving, and adding new observations and products that are then formulated into an implementation plan (IP).

Figure 1. Cycle of Global Climate Observing System and CEOS-CGMS Working Group on Climate

Figure 1. Cycle of Global Climate Observing System and CEOS-CGMS Working Group on Climate

The CEOS-CGMS (Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites) Working Group on Climate (WGClimate) is the body that responds to both the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (UNFCCC-SBSTA) and GCOS by coordinating responses from space agencies on relevant actions. The most recent cycle of assessment began in 2010 with the release of a GCOS implementation plan, followed in 2011 by the release of a satellite supplement with specific sampling, accuracy, and stability requirements.

An initial response from CEOS was delivered as a report to GCOS and UNFCCC at SBSTA-37 in December, 2012. To provide input to the GCOS 2015 status report on the observing system, WGClimate updated the 2012 document detailing progress on promised deliverables and responses to all 47 space agency actions identified in the GCOS 2010 IP. The full planning, formulation of deliverables, and final update to actions and deliverables providing input to the GCOS 2015 status report are illustrated in Figure 1.

The 2015 updates are added at the end of each of the 47 actions identified in the 2012 response. This provides the complete context for the updates. The responses were provided by subject matter experts and detail significant and important progress in climate monitoring, research, and services using space-based observations over the past 5 years.

Please take a look at the final 2015 CEOS-CGMS Response to the 2010 GCOS IP for more information.