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Terrestrial Essential Climate Variables (ECVs)

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     Committee on Earth Observation Satellites     Global Climate Observing System     Global Ocean Observing System     Global Terrestrial Observing System

The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) has defined requirements for Earth observation data products and their specifications to meet the needs of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These basic reference guides form the framework on which CDR and ECV products are built.


GCOS Implementation Plan PDF
This 2010 Update of the Implementation Plan for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC was prepared in response to a request by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) expressed at the 30th session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) in June 2009 and confirmed in UNFCCC Decision 9/CP.15 (December 2009). It was prepared under the overall guidance of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Steering Committee, supported by a task team and including the GCOS Panel Chairs and staff of the GCOS, Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS) Secretariats.
2010 Update of the Implementation Plan for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC (GCOS-138, August 2010)

GCOS Satellite Supplement PDF
This document provides supplemental details to the Implementation Plan for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC1 (GCOS-138, 'IP-10') related to the generation of these products and the associated datasets. It is intended mainly to assist Parties2 that support Earth observation from space to respond to the requirements of the IP-10. It also has relevance to all Parties that access satellite data records and/or use derived products for climate applications. Furthermore, a wide range of Parties can contribute the in situ data needed for the calibration of satellite instruments, for the validation of satellite data and derived products, and for incorporation with satellite data in integrated products, such as provided by reanalysis.
Systematic Observation Requirements for Satellite-based Products for Climate Supplemental details to the satellite-based component of the Implementation Plan for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC - 2011 Update, December 2011

GCOS Monitoring Principles PDF
The ten basic principles (in paraphrased form) were adopted by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) through decision 5/CP.5 at COP-5 in November 1999. This complete set of principles was adopted by the Congress of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) through Resolution 9 (Cg-XIV) in May 2003; agreed by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) at its 17th Plenary in November 2003; and adopted by COP through decision 11/CP.9 at COP-9 in December 2003.
GCOS Monitoring Principles and ECVs brochure (pdf) (May 2010)

GTOS Terrestrial ECVs  Link will open a new window
The Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS) has put together a series of publications that define the science and applications requirements that drive the development terrestrial essential climate variables (ECVs). Online publications are available for most of the terrestrial ECVs.
Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS) Publications on Terrestrial Essential Climate Variables (ECVs)

GCOS ECV Data Access Matrix Link will open a new window
The Essential Climate Variables (ECV) Data Access Matrix provides easy access to ECV data sets and information. The inputs for the variable descriptions were provided by WMO/GCOS. Essential Climate Variables are required to support the work of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
GCOS Essential Climate Variables (ECV) Data Access Matrix

Land Product Validation Subgroup Link will open a new window
The Land Product Validation (LPV) sub-group of the CEOS Working Group on Calibration and Validation (WGCV) aims to address the challenges associated with the validation of global land products. The LPV subgroup activities are divided up into 8 focus areas related to product families; biophysical, surface radiation/albedo, fire/burn scar detection, land cover mapping, land surface temperature/emissivity, soil moisture, snow and phenology.
Land Product Validation Subgroup


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