9 - 11 September 2019
A CEOS WMO-GSICS workshop will be hosted by the UK Space Agency at National Physical Laboratory (NPL), London, UK from 09 to 11 September 2019.
Recent years have seen an increasing urgency from international coordinating bodies such as CEOS, WMO-GSICS, GCOS, climate researchers, and policy makers to establish a space-based climate observing system capable of unambiguously monitoring indicators of change in the Earth's climate, as needed for international mitigation strategies such as the 2015 Paris climate accord. Such an observing system requires the combined and coordinated efforts of the world's space agencies.
To deliver data that can be considered unequivocal on decadal timescales, facilitating policy makers to make decisions in a timely manner, requires improvements to heritage, existing, and in-development space assets. In particular, observations spanning the electromagnetic spectrum from the near-UV to microwave need to be of sufficient accuracy and duration, traceable to the International System of Units (SI), and sampled to ensure global representation in order to detect change in as short a timescale as possible. The harshness of launch and the space environment has to date limited any satellite mission's ability to robustly demonstrate SI traceability on-orbit at the accuracy and confidence levels needed.
An order of magnitude improvement is typically required for robust climate observations. Although not as demanding in terms of long-term accuracies, implementing such a system also facilitates improvements to operational applications, particularly where data harmonisation enables ‘information on-demand' for a wider range of applications such as health, a sustainable food supply, and pollution.
Bringing together experts from space agencies, industry, academia, and policy makers, the intent of this international workshop is a community strategy to quantify the benefits and consequential specifications of a space-based climate observing system along with a roadmap to implementation.