GENEVA, 21-25 MAY 2001






Original: ENGLISH









(Submitted by the Secretariat)



Summary and Purpose of Document

The document contains information and issues on international exchange of data and products with focus on implementation of Resolution 40 (Cg-XII) and related issues.






The session is invited to consider the information and issues relevant to the region and express its views where appropriate.






Reference: Report of the first session of the Advisory Group on the International Exchange of Data and Products (Geneva, 29 January to 1 February 2001)



Implementation of Resolution 40 (Cg-XII) and related issues

General considerations

1. The policy and practice on the free and unrestricted exchange of meteorological and related data and products as contained in Resolution 40 (Cg-XII) have continued to be applied in a generally satisfactory manner, despite some difficulties encountered.

2. It had not been easy to establish the direct link between the quantity of data and products being exchanged (as measured by the monitoring of the bulletin headers in the GTS) and Resolution 40 (Cg-XII). In addition there was no perceivable signal at present that Resolution 40 (Cg-XII) has influenced, either in a positive or negative manner, the flow of data and products measured in the above way. Nonetheless, there had been some indication of increased willingness to make more data and products available in the period after the adoption of Resolution 40 (Cg-XII).

Operational implementation

3. In the years 1999, 2000, and 2001 three?? Members notified the Secretary-General for the first time of their lists of additional data, while several Members submitted updates to the lists provided earlier.

4. Several Members had included in their notifications information on new data and products they would be making available on the GTS for the first time following the adoption of Resolution 40 (Cg-XII). Members should be further encouraged to make new data and products available preferably without charge and without conditions on their use.

5. The Secretary-General continued to dispatch circular letters to all Members, as necessary, that contain the notifications of Members as received. The current lists of additional data and products are posted on the WMO Web server; and, updates are published in the WWW Operational Newsletter. In addition, several European Members and the ECMWF agreed at the beginning of 2000 to revise their generic conditions.

6. There is continued need to assess the effectiveness and impact of Resolution 40 (Cg-XII) on the availability of data and products and, in particular, the quantity of essential and additional data and products exchanged on the GTS to ensure that they meet Membersí requirements.

7. CBS-XII had considered a proposal for a new integrated WWW quantity monitoring of data exchanged on the GTS. In principle, the new procedure would be highly automated and facilitate monitoring of both GTS bulletins and station reports. The new monitoring procedure would increase the capability of the GTS to monitor all observational data types (except radar and satellite) and facilitate the assessment of the quantity of data and products exchanged through the WWW system. It will include the evaluation of future impacts of the WMO policy and practice on the international exchange of data and products. Distinguishing in the GTS data flow between essential and additional data and products according to Resolution 40 (Cg-XII) would be achieved most effectively through the use of the data designator group in the abbreviated bulletin headings to meet that purpose. This would entail implementation by all NMCs of significant adjustments in the current exchange and routing mechanisms on the GTS; and therefore CBSís recommended that this should be pursued as a goal for the future.

8. CBS-XII had underlined the substantive resources needed at participating centres to implement and operate the new procedure and, therefore agreed to conduct first a trial among volunteering centres to assess the full implications and to submit to CBS-Ext. (2002) the results of the trial.

Exchange of climate data and products

9. The unrestricted availability of climatological data for research and educational purposes remains a cornerstone of WMO policy on data exchange. The need for the climate research community to have ready access to data at appropriate time and spatial resolutions required for answering specific questions, consistent with Annex 1 of Resolution 40 (Cg-XII).

10. The relatively poor record throughout all WMO Regions as regards the exchange of CLIMAT and CLIMAT TEMP reports, which are deemed essential data under the terms of Resolution 40 (Cg-XII). While the stated requirement for data exchange in this form has been that it should apply to all stations of the Regional Basic Synoptic Networks (RBSNs), it was recognized that there were often real practical difficulties in meeting this target. Continuation of the process whereby the regional associations have begun to identify subsets of the RBSN that could form the basis for climate monitoring and climatological studies on space scales suited to applications and impacts is strongly encouraged. Such networks would complement the GCOS GSN and GUAN networks, which have been deemed necessary for a certain range of applications at the global scale. The regional scale networks, termed Regional Baseline Climate Networks (RBCNs), when fully implemented in all WMO Regions, would be the basis for the exchange of essential climate data (CLIMAT/CLIMAT TEMP) for WMO Programmes and also the impacts and adaptation programmes of the UNFCCC and other environmental conventions.

Exchange of oceanographic data and products

11. The IOC had established a process to further develop its policy of "Full and open sharing of a wide spectrum of global international data sets for all ocean programmes is a fundamental objective.", in particular with regard to operational oceanographic data exchange, in the light of the advent of operational oceanography; this has been manifested through GOOS and JCOMM, as well as existing international policies and agreements such as Resolution 40 (Cg-XII).

12. With regard specifically to the exchange of oceanographic data, the following also needed to be considered:

(a) Difficulties in establishing the ownership and commercial value of data from the open ocean;

(b) An increased blurring between operational and non-operational oceanographic data and their exchange;

(c) The global importance of existing and developing ocean observing programmes, of which Argo is a good example.


Exchange of aeronautical data and products

13. AMDAR was a very cost-effective upper air data source and the current exchange of over 100,000 AMDAR observations per day through the GTS is very welcome. CBS was continuously assessing the availability of AMDAR data on the GTS. It is considered that AMDAR systems could be a complement to radiosonde stations; noting that the latter provide meteorological information at higher levels of the atmosphere not reached by AMDAR-fitted aircraft. The need to ensure that meteorological centres, in particular those running NWP models, have timely access to AMDAR data has been stressed in may forums.

14. Special attention should be given to the availability of AMDAR data over data sparse areas to improve the provision of meteorological services. The need to ensure the continuity of the AMDAR programme through the provision of adequate funding of AMDAR activities is highlighted, possibly as an area for technical cooperation. it was important to continue the cooperation between NMSs and airline companies in connection with AMDAR so that free and unrestricted exchange of AMDAR data is assured. In this connection, the collaboration of ICAO is important. Annex 4 to Resolution 40 (Cg-XII) indicated that aeronautical information generated specifically to serve the needs of aviation and controlled under the ICAO Convention was not included in the application of this Resolution. Cg-XIII drew the attention of ICAO upon the potential impact of ICAO aeronautical data distribution policy on all WMO activities and invited ICAO to participate in all efforts undertaken by WMO regarding this issue.


Other issues for consideration

15. There have been political, legal, economic, social, scientific and technological developments which have a bearing on the implementation of Resolution 40 (Cg-XII), and that these should be taken into account in any review of Resolution 40 (Cg-XII) and the consideration of relevant action in the future. These include globalization, alternative services delivery, commercialization, cost-recovery, and the Internet.

16. Issues of concerns expressed in connection with the implementation of Resolution 40 (Cg-XII), which transcended Resolution 40 (Cg-XII) include:

    1. The use of data from a country of origin by those from that country or elsewhere which may undermine the status of the NMS of that country;
    2. The increasing pressure for some NMSs to generate revenue from all sources which affect their consideration of how they implement the free and unrestricted exchange of data and products, including consideration of cost-recovery and commercialization;
    3. The originating NMS should share in benefits resulting from the use of its data and products.

16. In this connection, the WG may explore and express its views on ways and means of addressing the above issues that have impact on the Role and Operation of NMHSs.