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RCC implementation in the Polar Regions

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Executive Council through its Panel of Experts on Polar and High Mountain Observations, Research and Services (EC-PHORS) (renamed from EC-PORS to EC-PHORS by EC-67) is developing a concept for the establishment of Regional Climate Centres (RCCs) for the Polar Regions.

The WMO Executive Council, at its 65th Session (2013), agreed that EC-PORS, the Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW), the Commission for Climatology (CCl), the Commission for Basic Systems (CBS) and the concerned regional associations should work in close cooperation to develop the Polar RCCs (PRCCs).

Other groups have launched relevant initiatives such as the International Ice Charting Working group (IICWG), the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the Arctic-HYCOS project led by the WMO Commission for Hydrology. Following the fifth session of EC-PORS in 2014, its Services Task Team (STT) began consultations on the implementation strategy for PRCCs, including definition of their priority functions based on user requirements in the Polar Regions.

EC-PHORS is charged with fostering the establishment of Polar Regional Climate Centres for the Arctic, Antarctic and high mountain regions of the world. As a first step, it will first focus on the Arctic Polar Region, including elaborating the PRCC concept taking the form of an RCC-Network. This experience, where relevant, could then inform devel­opment of the PRCC concept for Antarctica and High Mountain Regions.

Polar Regions are among the target areas for a Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) project funded by the Government of Canada to support the implementation of the climate cervices at regional and national scales. Among the key results of this project is an improved climate service framework across the Arctic Polar Region.

Under the guidance of the EC-PHORS STT and as part of the Canada-funded GFCS project, a “Scoping Workshop on Climate Services for Polar Regions: Establishing Polar Regional Climate Centres – Towards Implementing an Arctic PRCC-Network” was held in Geneva from 17 to 19 November 2015.

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