Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France

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Tuesday 7 July - 16:30-18:00 UNESCO Fontenoy - ROOM XI

1105 (a) - Assessing climate observations

Parallel Session

Chair(s): S. Briggs (ESA, Harwell, United Kingdom), L. Fisk (COSPAR , -, France)

Lead Convener(s): J.L. Fellous (COSPAR, Paris, France), C.B. Baker

Convener(s): D. Carlson (WCRP, Geneva, Switzerland), A. Ratier (EUMETSAT, Darmstadt, Germany), A. Cazenave (CNRS-CNES, Toulouse, France), C. Richter (GCOS Secretariat, Geneva, Switzerland)

16:30

Space-based Climate Observing systems

S. Briggs (European Space Agency, Harwell, United Kingdom), J.-L. Fellous (COSPAR, Paris, France), P. Lecomte, (European Space Agency, Harwell, United Kingdom), P. Ultré-Guérard (CNES, Paris, France), A. Ratier (EUMETSAT, Darmstadt, Germany), J. Bates, (NCDC, Ashville, United States of America)

Abstract details
Space-based Climate Observing systems

S. Briggs (1) ; JL. Fellous (2) ; P. Lecomte, (1) ; P. Ultré-Guérard (3) ; A. Ratier (4) ; J. Bates, (5)
(1) European Space Agency, Harwell, United Kingdom; (2) COSPAR, Executive Director, Paris, France; (3) CNES, Dps/tec/d, Paris, France; (4) EUMETSAT, Director general, Darmstadt, Germany; (5) NCDC, Ashville, United States of America

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The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) provides a framework for the coordination of observations in support of the UNFCCC. The 2003 GCOS Adequacy report to UNFCCC SBSTA introduced the concept of Essential Climate Variables, variables which were considered fundamental to the understanding and reporting of climate. These were updated in the GCOS 2010 Implementation Plan, and currently comprise a list of some fifty variables. A satellite supplement focussing on the needs of the climate community for observations from Earth observing satellites was produced by GCOS in 2011, and this forms the basis for the current support of space agencies to GCOS. The Commite on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) has formally responded ot his with a document published in 2012. Satellite observations are critical for about two thirds of the fifty ECVs. In addition, the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) has sponsored a roadmap study for Integrated Earth System Science in the period 2015-2025. 

 

This paper will describe briefly the status of the GCOS and highlight the needs for satellite data which derive from it. An overview of current Earth observion satellite systems will be given, together with an analysis of how these contribute to the provision of the ECVs. Examples of satellite observations and key derived products for climate will be given.

16:50

Climate Observing Systems: Where are we and where do we need to be in the future

C. Baker (NOAA, Oak Ridge, TN, United States of America)

Abstract details
Climate Observing Systems: Where are we and where do we need to be in the future

C. Baker (1)
(1) NOAA, Oar/arl/atdd, Oak Ridge, TN, United States of America

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Climate research and monitoring requires an observational strategy that blends long term, carefully calibrated measurements as well as short-term, focused process studies. Operating climate observing networks and providing climate services, have a significant role to play in assisting the development of national adaptation policies and in facilitating national economic development. Climate observing systems will require a strong research element for a long time to come.  This requires improved observations of the state variables and the ability to set them in a coherent physical (and chemical and biological) framework with models.  Climate research and monitoring requires an integrated strategy of land/ocean/atmosphere observations, including both in situ and remote sensing platforms, and modeling and analysis.  It is clear that we still need more research and analysis on climate processes, sampling strategies, and processing algorithms.

17:10

Sea Level, an Essential Climate Variable and an integrator of climate change

A. Cazenave (CNES, Toulouse, France), M. Ablain, (CLS, Ramonville St Agne, France), J.-F. Legeais (CLS, Ramonville St Agne, France), B. Meyssignac (CNES, Toulouse, France)

Abstract details
Sea Level, an Essential Climate Variable and an integrator of climate change

A. Cazenave (1) ; M. Ablain, (2) ; JF. Legeais (3) ; B. Meyssignac (1)
(1) CNES, LEGOS, Toulouse, France; (2) CLS, DOS, PMC, Ramonville St Agne, France; (3) CLS, Space Oceanography Division, Ramonville St Agne, France

Abstract content

Sea level is an important climate variable and a major indicator of climate change. In effect, sea level integrates changes and interactions of all components of the climate system  (ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere); it varies globally and regionally in response to internal climate variability and external –natural  and anthropogenic- forcing factors. Sea level is one of the 50 Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) defined by the Global Climate Observing System for climate change monitoring and one of the 15 ECVs accurately measured from space within the ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI) project.  While sea level is routinely measured by high-precision satellite altimetry since 20 years, providing a long, homogeneous and accurate sea level record using all altimeters satellites in orbit is the objective of the CCI ‘Sea Level’ project. This allows addressing major issues related to climate change and sea level (e.g., how much is the global mean sea level currently rising? Has it accelerated during the 20th century? Can we close the sea level budget? What are the factors causing non uniform sea level change? Are observed spatial trend patterns due to internal climate variability only or can we already detect the signature of anthropogenic forcing?, etc.). The sea level products already obtained in the context of the CCI project have been proved to be superior to other existing products and are of great value for climate change studies. Moreover, combining different CCI-based ECVs (e.g., glaciers and ice sheet mass balances, in addition to the sea level ECV) plus Argo-based ocean thermal expansion leads to better closure of the sea level budget, allowing addressing important new issues, such as the amount of  deep ocean warming (not measured by Argo) and  its role in the present ‘hiatus’. Finally, such long, accurate new ECV records are essential to validate climate models used to simulate future changes expected in response to anthropogenic global warming. 

Q&A session

L. Fisk (COSPAR , -, France), S. Briggs (European Space Agency, Harwell, United Kingdom)

Abstract details
Q&A session
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