1995, the climate and terrestrial components of the Global
Observing Systems joined to form the Terrestrial Observation
Panel for Climate (TOPC). To assure coordination between
the climate and terrestrial components of the observing
system, TOPC has completed and published a Plan
for Terrestrial Climate-related Observations
which includes elements of hydrosphere, cryosphere, and
strategy for implementing the plan is under development
in conjunction with the World Climate Research Programme
Hundreds of variables are possible candidates for global
climate monitoring. Potential sampling locations range in
the thousands. It is neither feasible nor desirable to measure
everything, everywhere, all of the time. The panel has therefore
developed a list of variables for monitoring and developed
a sampling design for the ecological
variables. TOPC welcomes your comments and feedback.
If you have comments on the list of variables, gaps or redundancies
please contact us.
the early years, TOPC concentrated on the planning and design
aspects of its mandate. It designed a five-tier observation
strategy; the Global Hierarchical Observing Strategy (GHOST).
the past two years, TOPC emphasis has shifted towards ensuring
long-term global observations of critical variables. These
Development of terrestrial observation networks.
In situ networks provide critical data for modelling
and applications, developing algorithms that make satellite
data meaningful, and validating its measurements. TOPC builds
on existing global or regional networks, harmonizes their
efforts as much as possible and improves the quality of
Thematic networks have been established for ecology,
glaciers, and permafrost. A hydrology network is in process
and regional networks are being formed for Central and Eastern
Europe, Southern and Eastern Africa, and Southern Asia.
3. Pilot projects.
TOPC actively supports the development of pilot projects
such as the Net Primary Productivity (NPP)
and Global Observation of Forest and Land Cover Dynamics
The panel is also closely involved in the Global Land Ice
Monitoring System (GLIMS).
These projects initiate and strengthen the mechanisms for
4. Standardizing satellite
data requirements. The use of satellite data requires
a sequence of processing and modelling steps. TOPC has standardized
each step in accordance with the CEOS database (the database
is currently managed by the WMO).
of global data sets. TOPC identifies global data sets
for climate-related terrestrial applications. These data
sets are then added to the Global Observing Systems Information
making them more widely accessible and useful.