No Thumbnail Available
Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
ArticleA new structure for the Sea Ice Essential Climate variables of the Global Climate Observing System(American Meteorological Society, 2022-06-01) Lavergne, Thomas ; Kern, Stefan ; Aaboe, Signe ; Derby, Lauren ; Dybkjaer, Gorm ; Garric, Gilles ; Heil, Petra ; Hendricks, Stefan ; Holfort, Jürgen ; Howell, Stephen ; Key, Jeffrey ; Lieser, Jan ; Maksym, Ted ; Maslowski, Wieslaw ; Meier, Walt ; Muñoz-Sabater, Joaquín ; Nicolas, Julien ; Ozsoy, Burcu ; Rabe, Benjamin ; Rack, Wolfgang ; Raphael, Marilyn ; de Rosnay, Patricia ; Smolyanitsky, Vasily ; Tietsche, Steffen ; Ukita, Jinro ; Vichi, Marcello ; Wagner, Penelope M. ; Willmes, Sascha ; Zhao, XiClimate observations inform about the past and present state of the climate system. They underpin climate science, feed into policies for adaptation and mitigation, and increase awareness of the impacts of climate change. The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), a body of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), assesses the maturity of the required observing system and gives guidance for its development. The Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) are central to GCOS, and the global community must monitor them with the highest standards in the form of Climate Data Records (CDR). Today, a single ECV—the sea ice ECV—encapsulates all aspects of the sea ice environment. In the early 1990s it was a single variable (sea ice concentration) but is today an umbrella for four variables (adding thickness, edge/extent, and drift). In this contribution, we argue that GCOS should from now on consider a set of seven ECVs (sea ice concentration, thickness, snow depth, surface temperature, surface albedo, age, and drift). These seven ECVs are critical and cost effective to monitor with existing satellite Earth observation capability. We advise against placing these new variables under the umbrella of the single sea ice ECV. To start a set of distinct ECVs is indeed critical to avoid adding to the suboptimal situation we experience today and to reconcile the sea ice variables with the practice in other ECV domains.
ArticleAdequacy of the ocean observation system for quantifying regional heat and freshwater storage and change(Frontiers Media, 2019-08-29) Palmer, Matthew D. ; Durack, Paul J. ; Chidichimo, Maria Paz ; Church, John A. ; Cravatte, Sophie ; Hill, Katherine Louise ; Johannessen, Johnny A. ; Karstensen, Johannes ; Lee, Tong ; Legler, David ; Mazloff, Matthew R. ; Oka, Eitarou ; Purkey, Sarah G. ; Rabe, Benjamin ; Sallee, Jean-Baptiste ; Sloyan, Bernadette M. ; Speich, Sabrina ; von Schuckmann, Karina ; Willis, Josh ; Wijffels, Susan E.Considerable advances in the global ocean observing system over the last two decades offers an opportunity to provide more quantitative information on changes in heat and freshwater storage. Variations in these storage terms can arise through internal variability and also the response of the ocean to anthropogenic climate change. Disentangling these competing influences on the regional patterns of change and elucidating their governing processes remains an outstanding scientific challenge. This challenge is compounded by instrumental and sampling uncertainties. The combined use of ocean observations and model simulations is the most viable method to assess the forced signal from noise and ascertain the primary drivers of variability and change. Moreover, this approach offers the potential for improved seasonal-to-decadal predictions and the possibility to develop powerful multi-variate constraints on climate model future projections. Regional heat storage changes dominate the steric contribution to sea level rise over most of the ocean and are vital to understanding both global and regional heat budgets. Variations in regional freshwater storage are particularly relevant to our understanding of changes in the hydrological cycle and can potentially be used to verify local ocean mass addition from terrestrial and cryospheric systems associated with contemporary sea level rise. This White Paper will examine the ability of the current ocean observing system to quantify changes in regional heat and freshwater storage. In particular we will seek to answer the question: What time and space scales are currently resolved in different regions of the global oceans? In light of some of the key scientific questions, we will discuss the requirements for measurement accuracy, sampling, and coverage as well as the synergies that can be leveraged by more comprehensively analyzing the multi-variable arrays provided by the integrated observing system.