JCOMM in brief
JCOMM, the Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology, is an intergovernmental body of technical experts that provides a mechanism for international coordination of oceanographic and marine meteorological observing, data management and services, combining the expertise, technologies and Capacity Development capabilities of the meteorological and oceanographic communities. The creation of this Joint Technical Commission results from a general recognition that worldwide improvements in coordination and efficiency may be achieved by combining the expertise and technological capabilities of World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).
Visions and Aims
JCOMM coordinates, and develops and recommends standards and procedures for, a fully integrated marine observing, data management and services system that;
- uses state-of-the-art technologies and capabilities;
- is responsive to the evolving needs of all users of marine data and products;
- and includes an outreach programme to enhance the national capacity of all maritime countries.
JCOMM aims to maximize the benefits for its Members/Member States in the projects, programmes and activities that it undertakes in their interest and that of the global community in general.
Urgent social and economic drivers need targeted improvements in weather, climate, water, oceanic and related environmental information and services. Risks associated with climate variability and extreme environmental events create social and economic stresses that require new meteorological, hydrological, oceanographic and climate services in order to ensure the safety and security of populations and the development of adaptive economic strategies. Responding to these risks is especially critical given population growth in environmentally vulnerable regions, such as continental coastlines and lowlands, and, in recent years, an apparent increase in the intensities and frequencies of extreme events. At the same time, while the future state of the oceans remains uncertain, we need to ensure that society and policymakers are better informed of the impact of oceans on humankind and vice versa.
In response to these considerations, the long-term objectives of JCOMM are:
To enhance the provision of marine meteorological and oceanographic services in support of the safety of life and property at sea and in coastal areas; of risk management for ocean-based economic, commercial and industrial activities; of the management of marine and coastal areas; and to coordinate and enhance the provision of the data, information, products and services required to support climate research and the detection and prediction of climate variability;
To coordinate the development, enhancement and delivery of climate services related to the marine atmosphere and coastal and deep oceans, based on the core competencies within the Commission in marine meteorology and oceanography, as a contribution by JCOMM to the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS);
To coordinate the enhancement and long-term maintenance of an integrated global marine meteorological and oceanographic observing and data management system, as part of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), the World Weather Watch (WWW), other operational programmes, and in support of the GFCS; and in collaboration with the WMO Commission for Basic Systems (CBS), the Committee for International Data and Information Exchange (IODE), and other appropriate bodies;
To manage the evolution of an effective and efficient programme through the selective incorporation of advances in meteorological and oceanographic science and technology; and to work to ensure that all countries have the capacity to benefit from and contribute to these advances;
To promote and facilitate the equitable participation of all WMO Members and IOC Member States in all activities of, and benefit from all products and services provided by, JCOMM.
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Prior to 1999, marine meteorological and oceanographic observations, data management and service provision programmes were internationally coordinated by two separate bodies - the WMO, through its Commission for Marine Meteorology (CMM), and UNESCO's IOC, jointly with WMO, through the Committee for the Integrated Global Ocean Services System (IGOSS). While enhancing safety at sea remained the primary objective of marine forecast and warning programmes, requirements for data and services steadily expanded in volume and breadth during the preceding decades. Moreover, many of other applications required observational data sets and prognostic products for both the oceans and the overlying atmosphere.
Responding to these interdisciplinary requirements necessitated the development of evercloser working relationships between oceanographers and marine meteorologists. This was reflected at the global level by growing collaboration between the IOC and the WMO in organizing and coordinating ocean data acquisition, data management, the provision of related services, and associated Capacity Development needs. The increasingly close relationship between the two agencies' operational activities in the oceans culminated when the Thirteenth WMO Congress (May 1999) and the 20th IOC Assembly (July 1999) formally agreed that a new IOC/WMO Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) should be established, initially through the merger of CMM and IGOSS.
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It is co-chaired by a meteorologist and an oceanographer, reflecting its integrated responsibilities for meteorological and oceanographic programmes. Under the overall direction of a Management Committee chaired by the copresidents, the Commission is organized into three Programme Areas – Observations, Services and Forecasting Systems and Data Management.
Each Programme Area is, in turn, managed by a Coordinator, with support from a small coordination group and with specific activities being undertaken by designated teams or panels of experts. The establishment of these three Programme Areas is intended to facilitate the delivery of JCOMM’s mandated responsibilities by subdividing them into logical and coherent groupings. In addition, JCOMM undertakes specific tasks responding to the priorities of WMO and IOC, such as Capacity Development and Standard Setting.
Marine Meteorology and Ocean Affairs Division, World Meteorological Organization
7 bis, avenue de la Paix, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
Tel: + 4122 730 8473 Fax: + 4122 730 8128
Ocean Observations and Services, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (of UNESCO)
1, rue Miollis 75732 Paris Cédex 15 France
Tel: + 33 1 45 68 40 42 Fax: + 33 1 45 68 58 12
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