The Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology

Marine Climatological Summaries Scheme (delayed mode data)

The Marine Climatological Summaries Scheme (MCSS), established by WMO in 1964, has as its primary objective the international exchange, quality control and archival of delayed mode marine climatological data, in support of global climate studies and the provision of a range on marine climatological services.  Eight countries are designated to process the data and regularly publish the climatological summaries. Two Global Data Collecting Centres (GCC) were established in 1993 in Germany and the United Kingdom to facilitate and enhance the flow and quality control of the data.  All data are eventually archived in the appropriate World Data Centres, such as the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

Historical Data can be requested from the International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS). More details on ICOADS and how to access the data on its web site are available at: http://icoads.noaa.gov/products.html .

Review of the MCSS

JCOMM and its Data Management Coordination Group recommended a review and restructuring of the MCSS and requested the ETMC-in liaison with the JCOMM Expert Team on Wind Waves and Storm Surges (ETWS), the Expert Team on Sea Ice (ETSI), the WMO Commission for Climatology (CCl), and the joint CCl/CLIVAR/JCOMM Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices (ETCCDI)-to explore how oceanographic and ice climatologies could be coordinated with the marine meteorological data, so that the results could be viewed as an integrated product.

At its Second Session, Geneva, Switzerland, October 2006, the DMCG agreed on the need for modernization of the management of the two separate functions of the MCSS:

  • The delayed-mode VOS data handling
  • The preparation of the Marine Climatological Summaries (MCS)

As a first step the DMCG decided to establish a self-funded, cross-cutting Task Team on Delayed Mode VOS data (TT-DMVOS), comprised of members both from the ETMC and the Ship Observations Team (SOT). The Terms of Reference and Membership of the TT-DMVOS have been reviewed and agreed upon by the second session of the ETMC, Geneva, 26-27 March 2007, and the fourth Session of the SOT, Geneva, Switzerland, 16-21 April 2007.

As a second step, at its Second session, the ETMC recommended to establish a cross-cutting Task Team on Marine-Meteorological and Oceanographic Climatological Summaries (TT-MOCS). To assist in the process, the ETMC-II decided to establish an ad hoc cross-cutting Task Team with Membership from ETMC, ETSI, ETWS, CCl, and ETCCDI to set up the Terms of Reference for the proposed TT-MOCS. These have been finalized, agreed upon and available here.

The current status of the proposal for the MCSS modernization can be found HERE.

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