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Workshop on Observations for Adaptation to Climate Variability and Change

26-28 February 2013, Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) Headquarters, Offenbach, Germany

Action 19 of the Nineteenth GCOS Steering Committee asked "the GCOS Secretariat in consultation with the Chairman and Members of the Steering Committee ... to design one or more workshops to consider the observation requirements for adaptation, linking these with potential workshops on observational needs for the GFCS and on preparing for the next Adequacy Report."

In February 2013, GCOS co-hosted an international workshop to consider the climate observing requirements for supporting adaptation to climate variability and change. Partners include the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Intergovernmental Oceanic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The workshop took place at the Headquarters of Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) in Offenbach, Germany. The session brought together about 40 participants, including representatives of the GCOS community and representatives of sectors in which adaptation to climate variability and climate change is, or is likely to become, an important concern. These sectors include agriculture, water resources, health, energy sectors and also the disaster risk reduction community. The goals of the workshop were to identify observational requirements for adaptation, to review the Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) for determination of their adequacy for adaptation, and to develop a plan to address the gaps and deficiencies identified. Thus, the meeting was closely aligned to the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), and its results will directly feed into the preparation of the Third GCOS Adequacy Report, to be developed in the 2014 timeframe.

Adaptation Workshop Overview


Adaptation to a changing climate has received considerable attention over the last years at all levels, including negotiations under the United Nations Framework for Climate Change (UNFCCC). As most of adaptation actions will take place at local and/or sub-national level, climate information needed to support development, implementation and monitoring of such activities will be needed at the same level, but possibly with different requirements for each sector for which adaptation is a concern.

As it is GCOS' goal to provide comprehensive information on the total climate system, involving a multidisciplinary range of physical, chemical and biological properties as well as atmospheric, oceanic, hydrological, cryospheric and terrestrial processes, its' main task is to meet all climate related observation and monitoring requirements from local to global scales. Thus, it is an integral part of the observation and monitoring pillar of the GFCS.

Workshop documents

Workshop Report

Workshop Flyer


All presentations as zip file (size: 68 MB)