Space agencies coordinate their work via the Coordination Group of Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) and the Committee for Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). Both organisations jointly established the CEOS/CGMS Working Group on Climate (WGClimate). This joint working group implements the Architecture for Monitoring Climate from Space and has been assigned three overarching objectives:
- Providing a comprehensive and accessible view of existing and planned climate data records;
- Delivering further climate data records, including multi-mission, through best use of available data;
- Optimise the planning of future satellite missions and constellations to expand existing and planned climate data records.
The first of these objectives relates to an inventory of climate data records addressing the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Essential Climate Variables (ECV Inventory). The second and third objectives are addressed by a gap analysis based on the ECV Inventory and resulting in a coordinated action plan. (Note: these documents are based on version 2.0 of the ECV Inventory; new versions, based on v3.0 the ECV Inventory, will be released by the end of the year.)
In fulfilment of its objectives, the WGClimate delivers a coordinated response of all member space agencies to the needs of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) for systematic observations, as called for in the Conference of the Parties (COP)-21 Paris Agreement.