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UNFCCC Publishes Report on Climate-Related Observations

UNFCCC31 October 2012: The UNFCCC Secretariat has released a miscellaneous document containing a submission from the Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS) on progress in the development of methodologies, standards and protocols for climate-related terrestrial observations and related matters (FCCC/SBSTA/2012/MISC.15). 

The report indicates that, on the preparation of guidance materials, standards and reporting guidelines for terrestrial observing systems for climate, the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Steering Committee expressed its concern “at the amount of work and expense required to establish standards for the terrestrial ECVs through a formal International Organization for Standardization (ISO) process and at the risk that emphasis on standardisation would divert effort from other tasks.” It also states that, after extensive consultations, it is suggested to maintain the focus on keeping the highest level of data quality and error estimates. Therefore, GCOS and GTOS will continue updating and upgrading existing ECV reports on standards aiming at establishing best practices.

The 33th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 33) encouraged  the GTOS to continue coordinating the development of methodologies for climate-related terrestrial observations and to continue working with sponsors and the IOS to implement the work plan on the development of standards and protocols for the terrestrial essential climate variables (ECVs) and invited GTOS to report to SBSTA 35 on progress made. At SBSTA 35, GTOS provided a summary of progress and parties agreed to consider the information at SBSTA 36. [ECV Reports on Standards Aiming at Establishing Best Practices] [Publication: GTOS Report]