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GCOS Celebrates 20th Anniversary at WMO Executive Council Meeting

29 June 2012: The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), which is dedicated to providing observational data and information that is the foundation for decision making on climate, celebrated its 20th anniversary during the 64th World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Executive Council meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

To coincide with GCOS' 20th anniversary, WMO released a brochure reviewing the System's origins, summarizing its achievements from 1992-2012, and describing future challenges and opportunities. The GCOS was created in 1992 in order to supply the systematic, long-term observations, both space- and surface-based, needed by the World Climate Programme (WCP), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the UNFCCC.

The accomplishments of GCOS, working through partnerships, include: improving routine observations to the exacting standards required for climate observations; assisting developing countries with their observing networks; and deploying critical new systems for atmospheric, ocean and terrestrial observing.

In the future, the GCOS will continue to report on the status of climate observing systems; assess progress; review societal needs and research requirements for climate observations; and respond to the demands for new climate services at the global, regional, and local scales for new sectors, including water resources, agriculture, health and disaster risk management. [Publication: GCOS 1992-2012 - 20 Years in Service for Climate Observations]