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Global Observing Systems

Three inter-related global systems to observe the environment of the planet are being organized by United Nations organizations in cooperation with the scientific community and national governments.

Global Climate Observing System (GCOS)

http://www.wmo.ch/web/gcos/gcoshome.html

GCOS is responsible for planning the collection of data on long-term climate change.  It is sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)of UNESCO, the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with its GCOS Joint Planning Office at WMO in Geneva.For a recent description, see The Global Climate Observing System - Observations Today for the Climate of Tomorrow. For the latest news on GCOS, see the GCOS Electronic Newsletter.

The GCOS/GTOS Terrestrial Observation Panel for Climate has developed a Global Hierarchical Observing Strategy (GHOST) to coordinate multiple scales of observations.

The Report on the Adequacy of the Global Climate Observing Systems, prepared for the UNFCCC, November 2 - 13, 1998, Buenos Aires, Argentina, is available by ftp on the GCOS web site, under related publications.


Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS)

http://ioc.unesco.org/goos/

GOOS is implementing operational observation programmes for the oceans and coastal areas. It is sponsored by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, the International Council for Science (ICSU), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), with its GOOS Project Office at IOC in Paris.For an  update by GOOS Project Office on the status of GOOS to Febnuary 2000, see Global Ocean Observing System. For a summary description of GOOS and frequently asked questions, see the GOOS flyer. GOOS has adopted a Strategic Plan in March 1998 and is issuing a report on its implementation plans as GOOS 1998.


Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS)

http://www.fao.org/GTOS/

GTOS is developing and networking observations of long-term change of the land and its resources. It is sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO),  the International Council for Science (ICSU), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), with its Secretariat at FAO in Rome.The GTOS Planning Group Report was accepted by the sponsors in January 1996, and provided the initial strategic document for the launching of GTOS. The GTOS Implementation Plan was issued in December 1998 to provide the framework for the implementation of GTOS.


 
Together the three observing systems are often referred to as the G3OS, and they cover the major environmental components of the planet.Sponsors Group for the Global Observing Systems

Collaboration and integration between the systems is fostered by a Sponsors Group for the Global Observing Systems (GCOS, GOOS, GTOS), whose meeting reports are available below.  The Sponsors Group has developed an Integrated Strategic Plan for the Global Observing Systems.  The chair and secretariat for the Sponsors Group rotate annually. UNEP organized and hosted the 1997 meetings. The 1998 meeting was held at ICSU in Paris on 5-6 June 1998,and the 1999 meeting was hosted by FAO in Rome on 7 June 1999. WMO will organize the next meeting in Geneva on 6 June 2000.


Integrated Global Observing Strategy

http://www.igospartners.org 

Efforts over the past few years by a number of partners are leading to improved coherence and joint planning for global observations of the environment.  An Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) is implemented by an IGOS Partnership including the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), representing the world's space agencies, the G3OS Directors, the Sponsors' representatives, the International Group of Funding Agencies (IGFA), and representatives of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). The IGOS process is helping to build support for GCOS, GOOS and GTOS. For further information and complete background documentation, see the IGOS Partners web site hosted by UNESCO/IOC.


Global Observing Systems Information Center (GOSIC)

http://www.gos.udel.edu/

The Global Observing System Information Center (GOSIC) has been designed to provide a one-window view of  the observing requirements, the operational data systems, and access procedures for users to find and obtain data and products from the G3OS (GCOS, GOOS and GTOS).


Further information on the Global Observing Systems

In addition to the information at each system web site, the following documents are available for more information on the Global Observing Systems:

Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) UNEP/EWWP6/Inf.3
  Update by GOOS Project Office on the status of GOOS to February 2000

Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) UNEP/EWWP4/Inf.1
  Update by GOOS Project Office on the status of GOOS to March 1998

GOOS flyer with a summary description of GOOS and answers to frequently asked questions, updated to 1 May 1998

Observational Systems: Needs and Prospects
  Prepared by GCOS Joint Planning Office, August 1997

    ( http://www.wmo.ch/web/gcos/pub/wcrp.html )

The Global Climate Observing System - Observations Today for the Climate of Tomorrow  Update by GCOS Joint Planning Office to December 1997
    ( http://www.wmo.ch/web/gcos/cop3/cop3.html )

In Situ Observations for the Global Observing Systems: Development of an integrated strategy and identification of priorities for implementation - Summary report of the GCOS/GOOS/GTOS meeting - Geneva, 10-13 September 1996 - also Full Report (WMO web site)

The Global Observing Systems  UNEP/EWWP3/5/rev.1
Working Paper by UNEP with background on the systems to 1995

Meeting Reports from the Sponsors' Group for G3OS

Fifth Meeting of the Sponsors Group for the Global Observing Systems (GCOS, GOOS, GTOS), (Geneva, 6 June 2000)

Fourth Meeting of the Sponsors Group for the Global Observing Systems (GCOS, GOOS, GTOS), (Rome, 7 June 1999)

Third Meeting of the Sponsors Group for the Global Observing Systems (GCOS, GOOS, GTOS), (Paris, 5 June 1998) UNEP/DEIA/MR.98.4

Second Meeting of the Sponsors Group for the Global Observing Systems (GCOS,
GOOS, GTOS), (Geneva, 15-16 September 1997)  UNEP/DEIA/MR.97-10

Includes as Annex 3 the first version of the Integrated Strategic Plan for the Global Observing Systems

First Meeting of the Sponsors Group for the Global Observing Systems (GCOS, GOOS,
GTOS),  (Geneva, 13-14 January 1997)  UNEP/DEIA/MR.97-5

Preparatory Meeting on a Sponsors Group for the Global Observing Systems (Geneva,
15 October 1996) UNEP/DEIA/MR.96-11

 

 

G3OS

 
   

 

Data & Obs.

 
   

UNEP/DEWA/Earthwatch 1996-2003