Status of the global observing system for climate

GCOS has released its report Status of the Global Observing System for Climate (GCOS-195) which has been submitted to the UNFCCC in December in Paris. The results of the global observing system have proved invaluable and have underpinned the IPCC fifth assessment report. However, as the IPCC identifies, there are gaps in the global observing system particularly with regional information. It is important for climate observations to improve understanding and prediction of climate change not just globally but also regionally. The needs of climate services, such as adapting to climate change and variability on regional and local scales, are adding additional requirements on the observing system. The report reviews the overall status of each Essential Climate Variable (ECV), assesses progress against the latest Implementation plan, the Implementation Plan for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC (2010 Update), and identifies gaps. The report does not provide actions or plans to address gaps, deficiencies or additional requirements that have been identified: this is the role of the new GCOS Implementation Plan being developed for release and submission to the UNFCCC in 2016.