OF THE FOURTH
Fourth Meeting : 10 November 1999, Stockholm
(Papers and background material related to individual agenda items are cross referred to in the minutes)
Chairman Dr Tillmann Mohr (EUMETSAT and CEOS Chairman for 1999) welcomed participants. In opening the meeting he identified the IGOS Partners as those eligible to speak and take decisions. A number of representatives from the concurrent CEOS Plenary meeting were also present as observers. A list of participants is attached at Annex 1.
The agenda was adopted as set out in Document IGOS-P/4/AGN/Rev.6. A copy is attached at Annex 2.
Mr J Tschirley (GTOS) introduced the record of the third meeting (Refer Document IGOS-P/3/Min 1) which was adopted.
Of the 14 actions arising from the 3rd meeting (Refer Document IGOS-P/3/Actions), 12 had been discharged.
On Action 3/7, Joint GEF UNFIP Activities, Mr A R Thomas (GCOS) said that in the context of COP workshops a supportive statement on systematic observations had been agreed, but that there remained some residual work to organise. Dr P A Bernal (UNESCO/IOC) reported that GOOS had approached GEF informally and that a provisional strategy was under preparation. Dr Mohr judged that this action could be closed.
On Action 3/8, Inputs to CSD, an input from Mr A Dahl (UNEP) was awaited, so this action remained open.
[Action 3/8 - UNEP contribution to the IGOS presentation to the 9th Meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development in 2001 - Input from Mr A Dahl to be provided.]
Mr R Landis reported on WMO's progress in coordinating a contribution from G3OS Sponsors on in situ Observing Systems (Refer Document IGOS-P/4/Doc 10). Overall the response from the Partners had been limited, and on the climate aspect of ocean and terrestrial elements very few systematic observations were identified. With respect to atmospheric observations, most of the in situ systems were identified as part of the global networks within the World Weather Watch and Global Atmosphere Watch. Mr J Purdom (WMO) then summarised the content of the investigations undertaken to date within the redesign of the World Weather Watch Observing System. Prof J Townshend (CEOS) enquired how it was proposed to tackle the collection of in situ data in areas such as terrestrial observations where no existing structure for such collection existed. Prof F Bretherton (GOSSP) thought that the structure for weather observations might prove a useful starting point from which some data might be applied to individual themes dependant on the particular characteristics involved. Mr J Cihlar (CCRS) made the point that, while operational systems might be lacking, research networks existed which could be helpful. Dr P A Bernal (UNESCO/IOC) suggested reviewing the in situ position on the Oceans Theme and treating that as a starting point. Finally Mr Landis counselled against a) giving the impression that this was purely a weather issue; and b) giving undue weight to labelling a particular system as relating to one specific medium, as often more than one domain may be sampled from the same platform, e.g. as in the case of buoys.
Given that the in situ paper had been released only a short time before the 4th meeting, Dr Mohr concluded, with Mr Landis' agreement, that consideration of this issue should be deferred until the next IGOS-P meeting. He asked Partners to send their written comments to Mr Landis in good time for them to be discussed at the 5th meeting.
[Action 4/1 - Partners to send comments on Doc IGOS-P/4/Doc/10, concerning in situ observations, to Mr Landis in time for consideration of the paper at Partners' meeting in June 2000.]
5.i Oceans Theme
Dr E Lindström introduced the interim report drawn up by the Oceans Theme Team (Refer Document IGOS-P/4/01). He traced the background to the report and explained that the immediate focus was on identifying decisions required from space agencies operating satellite missions. Further work was needed to provide guidance on biological/biogeochemical observing systems and on in situ observing systems, but further inputs from IOCCG and GOOS currently in preparation should enable an updated report to be issued in January 2000. The interim report currently under consideration identified issues of continuity such as in observations on ocean topography, vector winds, biology, sea surface temperature and sea ice. It also highlighted subjects such as precision gravity field or geoid, salinity and sea ice thickness where an expansion of the knowledge base was needed. Dr Lindström said he would revise the report taking account of comments, strengthening the biology, carbon cycle and In Situ elements, and developing timelines and decision points.
Messrs Tschirley (GTOS) and Thomas (GCOS) agreed further work was needed on the ocean carbon element which was an important part of the global carbon system. Mr Landis encouraged development of a numerical specification in the revision. Prof Bretherton focused on the substantial effort still required on the in situ side. He urged Partners to start thinking about an evaluation process for GODAE results and preparing for the transition from experimental to operational activities.
Summing up, Dr Mohr welcomed the speed at which Dr Lindström expected to produce a revised report and he established that Partners supported the current interim version on the understanding that an updated report would be available in January 2000. He would ask CEOS in the Plenary to task the Strategic Implementation Team to be ready to respond to recommendations on the space component in the updated report at its next meeting towards the end of January 2000.
Following that he asked IOC and SIT to report on the in situ and space components respectively to the 5th Partners meeting in June 2000.
[Actions 4/2 - CEOS/SIT to provide a report to June 2000 Partners' meeting on space agencies' commitments in response to the Oceans Theme report recommendations.]
[Action 4/3 - IOC to provide a report to June 2000 Partners' meeting on in situ commitments in response to the Oceans Theme recommendations.]
5.ii Proposals for Additional Themes
a) Disaster Applications (Refer Document IGOS-P/4/02)
Dr. G. Withee (NOAA) recalled that at the CEOS Plenary earlier in the day the disaster topic had been generally recognised as an area of importance, but that there had been differing views in finding a way forward to address both an IGOS theme and an ad hoc CEOS group relating to the topic.
Nevertheless he hoped that agreement could be reached on proceeding with both the proposed theme and the proposed CEOS ad hoc group. Ms. H. Wood (NOAA and current CEOS SIT Disaster Management Support Project Leader) said that the main aim was to seek synergy among the various Partners in continuing the activity. Dr. Mohr and Ms. Wood agreed that the best course might be for her to consult further with the Partners, to develop terms of reference for a Disaster Applications Theme, and to present these as part of a revised proposal for consideration at an upcoming IGOS-P meeting.
Drs. A. Larigauderie (ICSU) and P. Bernal (UNESCO/IOC) asupported the creation of a Disaster Applications Theme and signaled the willingness of ICSU and UNESCO to assist in developing terms of reference. Dr. Tschirley (GTOS), speaking for FAO, agreed, stressing the importance of building up the in situ component. Mr. M. Wilson stated that UNEP was also ready to help in framing terms of reference which he thought should also cover policy issues. Dr. R. Landis (WMO) cautioned against duplication of the activities of several other UN Agencies working in the disaster field, but he was prepared to consider revised proposals at a future meeting.
In conclusion, NOAA agreed, at Dr. Mohr's request, to consult with interested IGOS Partners on the optimal way forward on a Disaster Applications Theme within an IGOS context and, if appropriate, to present revised proposals showing compliance with theme criteria to an upcoming IGOS-P meeting.
[Action 4/4 - NOAA to consult with interested IGOS Partners to consider the optimal approach to collaboration on Disaster Application within the context of IGOS and report to a future IGOS Partners' meeting.]
b) Carbon Cycle (Refer Document IGOS-P/4/09)
Describing the preparations for launching a Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Theme, Mr J Cihlar (CCRS) said that many of the underpinning building blocks had been put in place. Modelling studies at local, regional and global levels had shown process models to work well. Requirements for sensors and data products were well understood, though more work was required on biomass. GTOS was ready for the next step of assembling a team to coordinate activities, particularly at global level. Since June a prospectus had been drawn up defining forms of consultation required and setting out a strategy for a terrestrial carbon theme, identifying observations required and developing a framework for analysis. Account would be taken of several related IGBP projects and relevant regional initiatives such as the EC's GMES programme. It was important to launch the theme at this stage because long time data series and associated archives were necessary to improve understanding of the carbon position.
Mr N Swanberg (IGBP) welcomed the proposal given that carbon was at the heart of most IGBP projects, but he wanted to avoid overlaps between theme activities and IGBP work. Dr Mohr pointed out that IGBP could ensure that none occurred if they were a member of the theme team. Mr A Thomas (GCOS) wanted work under the proposed theme to start immediately in response to the pace being set by the UNFCCC in this field. Mr C Patermann (IGFA) agreed on the urgency to get started given the significance attached to carbon analyses and monitoring in various environmental initiatives at UN and regional levels. Ms A Larigauderie (ICSU) suggested an approach similar to that adopted for the proposed Disaster Applications Theme to give more time for the ICSU community to consider the proposal and to assess the financial implications. Dr Mohr, supported by Mr T Spence (IGFA) and Dr P Bernal (UNESCO/IOC), felt that the political drivers were too pressing to delay consideration further. He then asked whether there was support for initiating a Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Theme and, if so, who would lead it. There was broad agreement that the theme should go ahead. Partners then accepted Mr J Tschirley's offer that GTOS lead the development of the Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Theme and affirmed his suggestion that it be done in close collaboration with a number of key Partners. EC, GCOS, FAO, IGBP, ICSU, UNESCO representatives said they would participate in the Terrestrial Carbon Team. Dr Mohr requested these, and other Partners wishing to participate, to nominate their team members by the end of November 1999.
[Action 4/5 - GTOS with FAO support to lead the Terrestrial Carbon Cycle theme and to present a report to Partners along the lines of the Oceans Theme Report.]
[Action 4/6 - GCOS, FAO, IGBP, ICSU, UNESCO and CEOS to nominate representatives for the Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Team by end November 1999.]
Recalling the general support expressed in the earlier CEOS discussion for investigation of the carbon cycle to be treated on a single, coordinated basis, Dr Mohr asked for volunteers to take the lead on the ocean carbon element and on an overarching global carbon theme. Dr Lindström suggested that it would be most appropriate for his Oceans Team to assume responsibility for investigating the ocean carbon cycle, though he doubted whether there was sufficient time to include findings on this element in the updated Oceans report scheduled for mid January 1999. He thought, however, it would be possible to present a definitive report on the Ocean Carbon element to the 5th IGOS-P meeting in June 1999. Accepting his offer, Dr Mohr tasked NASA to lead the Ocean Carbon element and asked Partners to send nominations to Dr Lindström by end November 1999 for participation in the Ocean Carbon element.
[Action 4/7 - NASA to lead on the Ocean Carbon element and to make an input to the Global Carbon Theme team in time for the next Partners' meeting.]
[Action 4/8 - Partners to provide inputs on the Ocean Carbon element to the Oceans Theme Team by end November 1999.]
Responding to Dr Mohr's request for volunteers to lead the overarching Global Carbon Cycle Theme, GOOS, GCOS and IGBP were willing to help develop this, though they would not be able to lead. Mr Tschirley and Prof Townshend suggested that key people from the observing systems and in the analysis of measurements should consult together and agree how to proceed. Accepting this suggestion, Dr Mohr asked GOOS GCOS, IGBP and NASA to consult accordingly and to agree amongst themselves who should lead.
[Action 4/9 - GOOS, GCOS, GTOS, IGBP, NASA to prepare proposals for the overarching Global Carbon Theme and to decide amongst themselves who should lead this activity.]
5.iii The IGOS Process (Refer Document IGOS-P/4/03)
Dr D Williams summarised the five steps
in following the IGOS theme process. These provided guidance on :
On Dr Mohr's recommendation, Partners agreed to accept the document in its current form, but to treat it as a living document reflecting experience gained from carrying out theme investigations. Mr T Spence suggested that the first amendment might be a reference in paragraph 4.2 to the recently re-activated IGFA Working Group on Observations and Data. This suggestion was agreed.
[Action 4/10 - Dr D Williams to make reference to the IGFA Working Group on Observations and Data in the IGOS Process Document.]
Introducing his paper together with a supplementary paper by Ms G Martin (GTOS), (Refer Document IGOS-P/4/04 + Additional Note of 20 October 1999), Prof J Townshend (CEOS/SIT) felt it opportune to consider data principles and policy given the nature of IGOS objectives. In the detection of long term environmental change, the most useful outputs from observations were data-derived products. Multiple providers cooperated in developing and supplying such products. An integrated approach was required for calibration/validation and for quality assurance. All this in turn raised data distribution and service issues, notably standards/protocols, coordination and generation of product sets and archiving requirements/techniques. Against that background the question arose as to whether IGOS needed to develop a data and information strategy. If so, care was needed not to duplicate the work of entities operating in this field such as the CEOS/WGISS group or the J-DIMP committee of the G3OS organisations.
Mr R Winokur (CEOS/SIT) thought it premature at this juncture to contemplate detailed procedures; he counselled concentrating on broad guidelines. Dr P Bernal (UNESCO/IOC) pointed out that the UN had established policies in this field and suggested drawing on these to formulate guidelines. Mr R Landis (WMO) reminded Partners that the Sponsors had little flexibility in this sphere and he recommended further study of the subject directed possibly towards definition of a set of practices.
Prof Townshend agreed that it would be unwise to rush into an attempt to set up detailed procedures in this domain. Further consultation was needed to understand the constraints on the Sponsors and other parties. He suggested forming a small group to take forward thinking on this subject. Dr Mohr welcomed that suggestion and called for volunteers to contact Prof Townshend. He asked Prof Townshend to provide the 5th IGOS-P meeting with a status report on the work of the group.
[Action 4/11 - Volunteers requested as soon as possible from interested organisations to join Prof. J Townshend in preparing a status report on development of the Data and Information Systems paper, IGOS-P/4/04, for the June 2000 Partners' meeting.]
7.i Unispace III
Dr D Williams paid tribute to the efforts of FAO who had laid the groundwork for an effective IGOS presence at Unispace III, and also to those of ISRO and NASA. The key event from the Partnership's standpoint had been a very successful IGOS workshop which was well attended and had proved an excellent platform to publicise IGOS objectives and activities. A full report on the workshop had been produced, and its key features had been incorporated in the Vienna Declaration which was being submitted to the UN General Assembly for endorsement. References to IGOS figured in several Unispace plenary and technical sessions and the CEOS stand in the Exhibition featured promotional material on the Partnership.
7.ii COP 5
Mr A Thomas (GCOS) reported that IGOS had registered its presence at the fifth Conference of the Parties (COP 5) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Dr Mohr, as IGOS-P and CEOS Chairman, had given a summary address at the IGOS Briefing following a number of good speakers. The briefing was less well attended than it might have been, clashing as it did with a discussion on GCOS in the main plenary. Turning to other aspects of COP 5, he described new reporting arrangements for the Parties which involved reporting on systematic observations and deficiencies in observing systems, providing a future platform to advance IGOS recommendations.
Mr C Patermann (IGFA) saw GCOS as a bridge between the UNFCCC Parties and international monitoring organisations in the development of guidelines on climate observing systems. He was pleased that the EU, in collaboration with the US, had managed to insert a reference to IGOS activities in the guidelines. As well as reflecting the multi-national aspects of space monitoring programmes in the guidelines, the EU had also ensured that the part played by the private sector was also recognised. Mr Patermann then circulated to Partners copies of the GCOS guidelines adopted at COP 5.
Dr Mohr congratulated NASDA on their production of an excellent IGOS brochure which had been widely distributed to appropriate fora. He also commended CNES for their bulletin, which would be the first of a series giving up to date information on IGOS activities.
Dr D Williams summarised a report by Ms L Moodie (NOAA) (Refer Document IGOS-P/4/06) of a meeting between IGOS representatives and scientific/technical staff of ten UN environmental Conventions. While the focus of the Conventions was on national compliance with their own individual mandates, their representatives recognised that there might be requirements for measurements common to the needs of several Conventions. They saw merit in developing a working interface with IGOS and were interested in being invited to relevant theme-related meetings.
Dr A Belward (EC) supported ongoing dialogue with Conventions Secretariat staff and recommended establishing points of contact with relevant Secretariats. Mr B Smith (NOAA) backed this approach. Mr R Landis (WMO) agreed that greater cooperation was desirable making use of systems already in place. As incoming Chairman of the observing systems sponsors' group and of IGOS-P, he would seek to enhance such collaboration. Dr Mohr saw the identification by some Convention Secretariats of common requirements as a significant step forward and he urged the incoming IGOS-P Chairman together with GCOS to develop the interface with those making preparations for COP 6 in 2000. He also asked UNEP to encourage Mr A Dahl in continuing to develop the IGOS-P interface with UN Convention Secretariats, keeping the IGOS-P Chairman and the IGOS-P Liaison Group informed in the process.
[Action 4/12 - The incoming IGOS-P Chairman to develop with with GCOS the interface with COP 6.]
[Action 4/13 - UNEP, (Mr A Dahl), to continue to develop the interface with UN Convention Secretariats, keeping the IGOS-P Chairman and the IGOS-P Liaison Group informed.]
Turning to other future activities, Dr Williams identified the key thrust as initiating and pursuing theme activities. An important focus, too, would be continuation of the publicity drive, taking full advantage of the brochure and the bulletin. In that context several Partners suggested that better use of the IGOS web site could be made. In response Dr Mohr asked the incoming IGOS-P Chairman and the IGOS-P Liaison Group to investigate upgrading the web site to give increased publicity to IGOS activities.
[Action 4/14 - The incoming IGOS-P Chairman and the IGOS-P Liaison Group to study the upgrading of the IGOS web site to give increased publicity.]
Recalling the succession procedures for IGOS-P Chairmen, (Refer Document IGOS-P/4/07), Dr Mohr welcomed Mr R Landis (WMO) as next IGOS-P Chairman. On the question of the IGOS-P Liaison Group, (the ongoing members being Messrs Dahl, Tschirley, Williams and Smith), Partners agreed that it should be strengthened by an additional member. Dr Mohr accordingly invited the incoming IGOS-P Chairman to nominate an additional member. Dr Mohr also tasked members of the IGOS-P Liaison Group to assume their agreed functions in support of the IGOS-P Chairman, and to arrange an early meeting - possibly in Geneva in January 2000.
[Action 4/15 - Members of the IGOS-P Liaison Group to assume their agreed functions in support of the IGOS-P Chairman and to arrange an early meeting - possibly in Geneva in January 2000.]
[Action 4/16 - The incoming IGOS-P Chairman to nominate an additional member of the IGOS-P Liaison Group.]
Dr D Williams (EUMETSAT) drew attention to a forthcoming meeting, sponsored by GCOS, GTOS and FAO, with Chinese representatives.
Dr S Briggs (BNSC) referred to the forthcoming meeting of the International Symposium on Remote Sensing of the Environment in Cape Town in March 2000, details of which were available.
Dr Mohr conveyed the thanks of the Partnership to Ms L Charles (NASA) and to Mr J Hielkema (FAO) for their unstinting efforts, particularly on preparations for Unispace III.
Mr Landis said the next IGOS-P meeting would be held at WMO headquarters in Geneva on 7 June 2000. It would be preceded by a meeting of sponsors on 6 June 2000 at the same venue.
A consolidated list of the actions arising from the IGOS-P 4 Meeting is attached at Annex 3 .
IGOS PARTNERS - PARTICIPANTS LIST
d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)
for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT)
Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU)
Group of Funding Agencies (IGFA)
de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE)
Indian Space Research
Science and Technology
Agency of Japan (STA)
Environment Programme (UNEP)
Office of Outer Space Affairs (UN-OOSA)
Space Centre (BNSC)
for Remote Sensing (CCRS)
and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO)
für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)
for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT)
Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS)
Ministry of International
Trade and Industry (MITI)
and Space Administration (NASA)
Development Agency of Japan (NASDA)
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Sensing Center of China (NRSC)
Science and Technology
Agency of Japan (STA)
Space Board (SNSB)
Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences
Grev Turegatan, 16.
1. Welcome by the Chairman
2. Adoption of Agenda - IGOS-P/4/AGN/Rev. 6
3. Record of the 3rd IGOS Partners' meeting - IGOS-P/3/Min 1
4. Status of Actions arising from 3rd IGOS
Partners' meeting - IGOS-P/3/Actions
5. Development of IGOS Themes
6. Data & information systems issues - IGOS-P/4/04+Add. 1
7. Promotion of IGOS at national &
regional levels - IGOS- P/4/05
8. Future IGOS activities - IGOS-P/4/06
9. Future IGOS Chairman - IGOS-P/4/07
10. Any other business
11. Date of next meeting
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