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WCRP and IGOS-Cryosphere Scientific and Observational Requirements: Food for Thought for STG. (Vladimir Ryabinin, WCRP). Sponsors : World Meteorological Organization (WMO, since1980), International Council for Science (ICSU, since 1980), and

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WCRP and IGOS-CryosphereScientific and Observational Requirements: Food for Thought for STG

(Vladimir Ryabinin, WCRP)


Sponsors: World Meteorological Organization (WMO, since1980),

International Council for Science (ICSU, since 1980), and

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO (since 1993)

  • Objectives
  • To determine the predictability of climate
  • To determine the effect of human activities on climate

SPARC 1992

GEWEX 1988 

SOLAS 2001 ->

CliC 2000

CLIVAR 1995 

Task Forces

Crosscutting Issues

Hydrological &

Energy Cycle,


Model Development


Poles + IPY



IPCC Model Runs

Fluxes, Interactions










Data Management

Modelling Strategy,

"Seamless" Prediction

Coordinated Observation and Prediction of the Earth System

ACC, Monsoons,

Seasonal Forecasting,

Ocean Reanalysis





Chemistry & Climate


SPARC 1992

GEWEX 1988 

SOLAS 2001 ->

CliC 2000

CLIVAR 1995 

2(2) 14(17)


8(8) 2(3) 2(2)










Coordinated Observation and Prediction of the Earth System

IGBP 3(5), WMO 6(11), SCAR 25(30)

main domains of wcrp interests as expressed in ipy proposals
Main domains of WCRP interests as expressed in IPY proposals
  • Climate in general , its evolution
  • Meteorology and metobs
  • Cryosphere (ice cheets, ice shelves, glaciers, permafrost, frozen soil, icebergs, sea ice, snow, solid precip)
  • Hydrology, hydrological cycle
  • Polar oceans: T/S regime, currents, level
  • Ocean – atmosphere fluxes, interaction
  • Biogeochemistry, aerosols, carbon cycle
  • Observing (networks), modelling, forecasting
wcrp synthetisised requirement for ipy snapshot
WCRP-synthetisised requirement for IPY snapshot

A polar snapshot with main focus on the physical climate systemencompassing the total column from the surface through troposphere and stratosphere to mesosphereincluding oceans, land, all elements of cryosphere, hydrology at the surface, standard meteorology, hydrological cycle, aerosols, and radiatively important constituencies in the atmosphere,

having in mind parameters needed for resolving dynamics and fluxes between various domains

+ legacy !


Comparison of NCEP and SOC latent heat flux climatologies

Potential additional (vs WMO set and SCOBS analysis) sources of specific requirements for observations

Polar snapshot: GIIPSY + CEOS constellations concept

Climate system: GCOS and recent GCOS/CEOS reports

Surface,oceans: IAOOS(14), Damocles(40), CASO (132)

Surface,land: IGOS-Cryosphere Theme report + GTOS

Cryosphere: IGOS-Cryosphere Theme report

Hydrology: Arctc HYDRA (140) + river altimetry

Meteorology: Thorpex(121) , Antarctic met (267), Arctic Reanalysis (lead Mark Serreze, NSIDC), SPARC

Hydrological cycle in atmosphere: CEOP(418, not endorsed but it is a mistake!)

Aerosols and atmospheric chemistry: IGACO

Dynamics and fluxes: Seaflux (GEWEX), GlobIce; fluxes (esp. Polar) are a problem, in principle

how wcrp will likely use the snapshot data in the future
How WCRP will likely use the snapshot data in the future?

Process studies, MIPs and model validation: SIOMIP, ArcMIP, ICARP modelling projects etc. & etc.

ReAnalysis: meteorological -> ocean -> cryosphere -> chemistry -> fluxes, precipitation, climate system

Reprocessing, WOAP


Change assessment, as a benchmark


opens the door to the

Main Earth observation coordination consortia

  • Integrated Global Observing Strategy-Partnership (IGOS-P), 13 international and UN organizations;
  • Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), 45 space agencies and Earth observation data users operating more than 100 satellites;
  • Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS)
integrated global observing strategy igos partnership
Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) Partnership

UN Organisations

Committee on Earth Observing Satellites


International science support and coordination programs

Global Observing Systems

what is an igos theme
What is an IGOS Theme ?
  • Idea to prepare a report approved by IGOSP
  • Report
  • Its review by the community
  • Approved Report (by CEOS SIT and IGOS Partnership)
  • Implementation

IGOS Themes







Atm. Chem.









  • is undergoing dramatic changes, mostly as a consequence of climate change, and provides best indicators for it
  • is one of the most under-sampled elements within the climate system
  • is important (water, climate, transport, etc.)

Approved by IGOSP-11, Rome, Italy, 27 May 2004

  • User-requirement product driven
  • Has a ~10 year time frame
  • Goal 1: resources for observations
  • Goal 2: stronger commitment by observing system operators to sustain the observing system
  • Goal 3: better coordination

Team: Jeff Key (Chair)Mark Drinkwater (Vice-Chair) Don Hinsman (link to IGOSP) Ken Jezek and ~ 50 contributors from 14 countries


Preface – to be rewritten


Executive Summary – to be amended

1. The Cryosphere Theme

2. Applications of Cryospheric Data

3. Terrestrial Snow

4. Sea Ice

5. Lake and River Ice

6. Ice Sheets

7. Glaciers and Ice Caps

8. Surface Temperature and Albedo of Snow and Ice

9. Permafrost and Seasonally Frozen Ground

10. Solid Precipitation

11. An Integrated and Coordinated Observing System

12. Implementation

App. A. References

App. B.Observational Capabilities and Requirements

App. C. Satellite Missions in Support of the Cryosphere Theme

App. D. Acronyms

App. E. Contributors

App. F. Web Sites for Further Information

chs 3 10 on cryospheric elements
Chs 3-10 on cryospheric elements

Terrestrial Snow

Sea Ice

Lake and River Ice

Ice Sheets

Glaciers and Ice Caps

Surface Temperature and Albedo of Snow and Ice

Permafrost and Seasonally Frozen Ground

Solid Precipitation

Short intro: role in Earth system, variability, scales, etc.

Status of spaceborne, airborne and in situ observations

Shortcomings, gaps, problems

Concise element-specificrecommendations

ch 3 terrestrial snow

Plan to be developed

Perspective missions, needs outlined

Specific areas of activities proposed

Methodology proposed

Most important products identified

Ch 3: Terrestrial Snow

Intro, status, shortcomings, recommendations:

  • A plan for surface-based snow-observation networks to be developed: national -> international levelconsistency: observation methods, reporting standards; improved exchange of dataConsiderably improved metadata for snow observations are needed.
  • The capability of satellite observations to be improved:support of new systems (e.g., E-GPM/CGPM and CloudSat for solid precipitation)support of algorithm developmenthigh-frequency (Ku, X-band) SAR a priority for global SWE
  • Priority to algorithms and new sensors for SWE under a wide range of vegetation conditions.
  • Techniques to merge in situ measurements and satellite retrievals:targeted field projects for snow, its albedo and surface temperature in multiple environments, “Super Sites”
  • Integrated multi-sensor data fusion and global analysis systems that blend snow observations from all sources and produce consistent high-resolution analyses of (at a minimum): 1) the extent of snow cover, 2) snow depth, 3) SWE, and 4) snow wetness using improved algorithms for the objective, optimal combination of snow observations from widely disparate sources, also addressing both mass and energy considerations of snow models.
ch 11 an integrated and coordinated system 1
Ch 11: An Integrated and Coordinated System (1)

Satellite remote sensing

Ground based observations

  • SAR
  • InSAR
  • PM
  • Altimetry
  • Radar Scatterometry
  • VIS to Thermal IR
  • Gravity
  • Ground control
  • Major Gaps (mostly NPOESS)

Airborne observations

Modelling, Data Assimilation, Reanalysis

ch 11 an integrated and coordinated system 2
Ch 11: An Integrated and Coordinated System (2)

Data and Information Management:

Need to have common means toview data, see gaps, combine / overlay data, process data jointly, etc., etc.

GIS: Virtual globes by GeoVirtual, Google Earth, NASA World Wind, ESRI ArcGIS Explorer, Skyline's TerraSuite, and many more…

Challenge for IGOS Themes,

need for a joint approach


ch 11 an integrated and coordinated system 3
Ch 11: An Integrated and Coordinated System (3)

Integrated near-real time products: CEOP-like approach

More stations

Cryo Obs

Cryo Models

Some stations

In-Situ Data Archiving Center at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Researchof USA

Model Output Data Archiving Center at the World Data Center for Climate,Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology of Germany

Data Integrating/Archiving Center at the University of Tokyo and JAXA of Japan

Cryo Products!

Joint with IGWCO, built around snow and precip

ch 11 an integrated and coordinated system 4
Ch 11: An Integrated and Coordinated System (4)

Related polar observing systems: Southern Ocean

CliC, Arctic-HYCOS






ch 12 implementation 1
Ch 12: Implementation (1)

Many partners (international, regional, national): ~ 30

Cryospheric community of practice

Links within IGOS and IGOS Themes:There is no mechanism yet for combining domain–specific requirements for observations and proposing to observing system operators (e.g. satellite agencies) requirements for missions, sensors and their characteristics which would be optimal and acceptable for all Themes

Implementation of CryOS as a stand-alone system (a new observing system ??!!) will be nonsensical. Integration of IGOS Themes (with help of GEO?) is needed.

ch 12 implementation 2
Ch 12: Implementation (2)

General recommendation by IGOS-Cryo to IGOS:

In-situ and airborne: complementary work of observing stations, platforms, an inventory required (first step – IPY legacy)

Space: strengthen inter-agency coordination (one of first steps made by CEOS/GCOS wrt UNFCCC), from virtual to real constellations – GIIPSY, SAR

Interoperability, resource sharing: GIS, “virtual globes”, GRID - IPY DIS is heading towards this

way forward


1: 2007-2009, IPY, e.g. GIIPSY

2: 2010-2015

3: After 2015


Way forward

Open review: deadline 15 January 2007, work is about to start on incorporating comments received

Major flaw to resolve ASAP: ice shelves, also missing in the GIIPSY plans!

Submission to CEOS and IGOS – March, April 2007

Approval expected at the end of May 2007

Printing: June 2007

Thank you !