Ad Hoc Planning Meeting for the JCOMM Pilot Project for the WMO Integrated Global Observing Systems (WIGOS)
The ad hoc planning meeting for the JCOMM Pilot Project for the WMO Integrated Global Observing Systems (WIGOS) was held in Ostend, Belgium on 29 March 2008 at the kind invitation of the IOC Project Office for the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE). The aim of the Pilot Project is to promote and develop integration of marine and other appropriate observations into the global observing system through three core deliverables: (i) integration of instrument best practices, (ii) development of interoperability arrangements between the ocean data systems and the WMO Information System (WIS), and (iii) the integration of quality management systems. The meeting agreed that the cooperation with the ocean community was essential to the success of the Pilot Project, especially regarding interoperability issues with the IODE Ocean Data Portal (ODP) being developed by the ocean community. The synergies between the ODP and WIS are potentially important regarding historical and recent data. In the process, the ownership of IOC for some of the components of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), and the WMO and IOC respective data policies will be respected, as well as specific data policies for specific data sets. Development of standards and their wide acceptance within the meteorological and oceanographic communities is also an important activity that will addressed by the Pilot Project. It will link naturally with the development of a Standards process recently started by JCOMM and IODE (see http://www.oceandatastandards.org). The meeting addressed the instrument best practices issues, recognized the need for traceability to agreed standards, and recommended to establish cooperation with the WMO Commission on Instruments and Methods of Observation (CIMO) and to build on its experience with regard to instrument intercomparisons, instrument centres, etc. The various related publications available via WMO and IOC will be reviewed and updated as required. JCOMM has also recently proposed to compile a catalogue of best practices to be eventually published as a JCOMM Technical Document. Related activity will be included in the Pilot Project plan. The meeting proposed to explore establishment of one or more marine and oceanographic instrument centre(s) and reviewed the methodology proposed by CIMO for conducting instrument intercomparisons to ensure homogeneity, and compatibility of the observations. The meeting agreed to explore how JCOMM and ocean instrument comparisons can profit from the CIMO experience. The meeting reviewed its project plan and proposed some changes. It particularly identified partners willing to pursue participation in the Pilot Project by providing data sets to the ODP and WIS (e.g. World Ocean Atlas, World Ocean Database, Surface currents from HF radars, sea level data and marine climatology summaries). Other potential partners to provide additional data-sets (e.g. Argo, GHRSST, ocean model fields and SeaDataNet), metadata (e.g. META-T), technology (e.g. End-To-End), or training facilities or materials for Capacity Building purposes (e.g. ODINs) were listed and the Pilot Project will approach them to seek their participation. Because of the strong potential synergies between the ODP and the JCOMM Pilot Project for WIGOS, the meeting proposed to establish a joint Steering Group with balanced representation from the IOC and WMO communities. Terms of Reference and Membership for the Steering Group will be finalized soon. The first meeting of the Steering Group is planned to be held in September 2008. The meeting will work at defining a more detailed implementation plan based on the project plan.