Aside from the international coordination, the successful implementation of the global climate observing system, GCOS, also requires strategic planning on a national level. The national branch office – the Swiss GCOS Office – was therefore created in Switzerland in 2003, following the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.
Swiss GCOS Office
The Swiss GCOS Office is responsible for coordinating all climate-relevant measurements in Switzerland. In this function, the Swiss GCOS Office in cooperation with all partner institutions has compiled an inventory of the most valuable long-term series of climate measurements and international data centres in 2007. Based on this inventory, the Federal Council in 2008 secured the long-term continuation of the imperilled series of measurements and the international data centres. Among other things, the Swiss GCOS Office is tasked with the following:
- Coordination between the climate observation partners in Switzerland (Federal offices, research institutions and universities)
- Identification, update and maintenance of the national inventory of the valuable series of climatic measurements
- Compilation of reports concerning the national climate observation as contribution to the national reporting for the attention of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
- Facilitation of the exchange with the GCOS secretariat at the WMO, with national coordination offices of other countries and with other international institutions
Short film GCOS Switzerland
The short film provides a glimpse into the set-up and activities of GCOS Switzerland. Specifically, the various sectors (atmosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere) are illustrated, in which the climate of Switzerland is systematically being monitored. Several long-time series of measurements, important measuring stations and measuring techniques are introduced, which are used to observe the climate. In addition, the film documents the importance of international data centres and highlights Switzerland’s international engagement aimed at closing gaps in the global climate observing system.