Global Climate Observing System Steering Committee Convenes

17 October 2008: The sixteenth session of the Global Climate

Observing System (GCOS) Steering Committee took place from 14-17 October 2008,

in Geneva, Switzerland. The GCOS Steering Committee is a group of experts

selected for their personal expertise and appointed jointly by the GCOS

sponsoring organizations – the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and the

International Council for Science (ICSU) – to formulate the overall concept and

scope of GCOS and to provide scientific and technical guidance to the

sponsoring and participating agencies for the planning, implementation and

further development of GCOS.

Committee members were presented with an overview

of key activities over the past year and with feedback from sponsors regarding

future development of GCOS. Participants also focused on the role of main

observing systems contributing to GCOS and reviewed GCOS implementation

mechanisms. The Steering Committee also considered: the link with the user

community, particularly with regard to further development of GCOS to ensure it

meets the needs of user and partner organizations including IPCC and UNFCCC;

and issues related to the future planning and development of GCOS, such as

support for the IPCC and UNFCCC, its profile in the forthcoming in 2009 World

Climate Conference-3, revision of the GCOS Memorandum of Understanding,

finalization of an updated GCOS Plan, and the appointment of GCOS National

Coordinators. [Meeting