Global Climate Observing System (GCOS)

Système mondial d'observation du climat (SMOC)
Sistema Mundial de Observación del Clima (SMOC)

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15 Apr 1992, Geneva (Switzerland), as a joint programme of Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), International Council for Science (ICSU), United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO), following a Memorandum of Understanding signed Feb 1992. Revised Sep 1998. Also known as WMO-IOC-UNEP-ICSU Global Climate Observing System.


Work with partners to ensure sustained provision of reliable physical, chemical and biological observations for the whoe climate system.

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Set up the 'GCOS Cooperation Mechanism (GCM)' through which renovation, installation and training projects are realized for improving climate observing systems in developing countries. Facilitates implementation of an operational system of atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial observations for climate. Includes: 'GCOS Surface Network (GSN)'; 'GCOS Reference Surface Network (GRSN)'; 'GCOS Upper-Air Network (GUAN)'; 'GCOS Reference Upper-Air Network (GRUAN)' and other networks in the oceanic and terrestrial domains. Defined a set of Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) for the atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial domains for the purpose of UNFCCC and IPCC. All ECVs are technically and economically feasible for systematic observation. Regional activities: GCOS Regional Workshop Programme; Pacific Islands GCOS (PI-GCOS); Technical Support Projects (US GCOS); Climate for Development in Africa Programme; Report on the Progress on the Implementation of the Global Observing System for Climate in support of the UNFCCC COP 22; update of the Implementation Plan for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC (A2016, GCOS-200).


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 8 inter-governmental organizations.
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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 6 non-governmental organizations.
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Members in 0 countries
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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

  • Climatology
    • Climate
  • Research, Standards
    • Inspection, Tests
  • Cybernetics
    • Systems

UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 13: Climate Action



Last News Received

1. Jun 2018
* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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