WMO GCOS/WIGOS Caribbean Workshop on Observations for Climate and Meteorology
Belize, Belize - 10-12 July 2019
Joint GCOS – WIGOS Workshop in collaboration with UNFCCC
Key Messages from the Workshop:
The value of basic observation systems cannot be over-emphasized - Terrestrial and radiosonde observations (e.g. WIGOS/GBON) are an important part of the GCOS Implementation Plan. Putting the data into international systems leads to increased accuracy of weather and climate models which, in turn, leads to improved forecasting and climate services
Sustainability of observations, following the GCOS monitoring principles, is requiredto support climate monitoring and climate-change decision making. The most important need is to support unbroken long-term data acquisition not new systems. Maintaining, strengthening, upgrading, and improving existing systems is needed (e.g. supplying spare parts): Mostly issues that are relatively low cost.
Needed for staff to interpret the meteorological information to provide climate services, e.g. on agriculture, extreme events. Training is also needed to support the underlying observations especially covering GBON and associated IT.
Year-long fellowships have been successful and should be supported and encouraged.
WIGOS is developing GBON to meet the global monitoring needs for climate and weather. Regional WIGOS centres are needed to support the regional development of WIGOS & GBON. In the Caribbean region the regional WIGOS Centre will need to be setup, with appropriate funding, to support GBON site identification, data entry, calibration, training, procurement, IT etc.
From all 3 GCOS regional workshops (S. Pacific, E. Africa and Caribbean) it is clear that project funding from international donors does NOT work for sustainable, systematic observation of the climate. Piecemeal funding has caused a range of issues for effective operation and has not established sustainable long-term operation.
There is a need for an alternative model of funding, one good example in the Caribbean is the long-term funding of radiosonde operation by the US.
Observations for any region in the World supports national weather and climate predictions for all countries. Funding should reflect this global benefit.