Week at a glance

Day 1.
Performance of the current
climate observations
This day assesses the performance of the current global climate observing systems and its current set of ECVs.
Session I.
Scope and aims of the conference

This session outlines the need and successes of global climate observations. Keynote presentations will cover the relevance to climate science research, UNFCCC and IPCC and discuss the outcome and recommendations of the recent EUMETSAT Climate Symposium in Darmstadt, 2014. An introduction to the status report and new implementation plan of GCOS are scheduled to provide guidance to the conference.
Session II.
Successes of the current global observing system

This session will cover keynote and oral presentations from climate in the GCOS domains: ocean, land, cryosphere and atmosphere. We seek contributions that highlight the relevance of climate observations to climate science, the trails and tribulations of obtaining them, and exciting science results.
Day 2.
Adequacy of the current
global climate observations
This day discusses how adequate the current ECVs are in terms of science needs; do they help improving the understanding of key aspects of the climate system, and in terms of user needs; do they provide the information an increasing variety of users needs.
Session III.
Relevance of the current ECVs to improved understanding of the global cycles of water, energy and carbon

This session will cover keynote and oral presentations discussing the possibility of using the current set of ECVs to achieve closure of the three key cycles of the Earth. It will also aim at identifying gaps and missing elements a with the aim of possibly amending the GCOS 2016 Implementation Plan.
Session IV.
User needs from diverse areas

This session will cover keynote and oral presentations to identify user needs from non-UNFCCC areas, such as conventions on biodiversity and desertification, ECVs for adaptation and mitigation and the use of the concept of essential variables in other domains.
Day 3.
Planning for future global climate observations
The final day outlines a future programme of climate observations based on improved communication with a variety of stakeholders, technology improvements, and requirements that arise from recent climate negotiations and treaties.
Session V.
Communication of climate science

This session will cover keynote and oral presentations identifying how to best communicate the results of climate science and observations to the general public, policy makers and politicians. It will cover the development of key indicators such as ocean heat content or sea level rise.


  • Alain Ratier (Director-General, EUMETSAT)
  • Adrian Simmons (Lead Author, GCOS Status Report, retired from ECMWF, UK)
  • Alan Belward (Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, European Commission)
  • Corinne Le Quéré (Director of Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, UK)
  • Robert J. Scholes (Global Change and Sustainability Research Institute (GCSRI), University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa)
  • Pete Smith (Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, UK)
  • Chris Rapley (University College London, UK and Director General’s High Level Science Policy Advisory Committee ESA)
  • Thomas R. Karl (Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information, USA)
  • Philippe Ciais (Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et l’Environnement, France)
  • Ken Johnson (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, MBARI, USA)
  • Dahe Qin (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Co-Chair IPCC AR5 Working Group I)
  • Sandrine Bony (CNRS Senior Research Scientist, CNRS, France)



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