Permanent Monitoring Panel -
Members of the Panel:
William A. Sprigg (USA)
Congbin Fu (China); Mario Molina (USA);
Navarra (Italy); Neville Nichols (Australia); Warren Washington (USA).
PMP Associates for the drafting of the Data Access Statement:
Mohamed S. Boulahya (Niger); Joel Scheraga (USA); Martin F. Yerg (USA).
Associate Panel Members:
Robert Clark (USA); Charles Hutchinson (USA);
Arnaldo Longhetto (Italy); Douglas Morrison (Switzerland); Amador Muriel
(Philippines); Carlos Ordonez (USA); Margaret Petersen (USA);
Sorooshian (USA); Glenn Tallia (USA);
Paul F. Uhlir (USA); Sixion Zhao (China).
(Associate Panel Members are a community of scientists who
provide support and expertise for the working of the Permanent Monitoring
Summary of the Emergency
The safety and well-being of human populations are threatened
by the variability and change in both the climate and the composition of Earth’s
atmosphere. Research into these trends is being significantly influenced by a
number of factors:
What was once a relatively easy
and low-cost task of obtaining data for studying and predicting these
changes, is now becoming expensive, complicated and threatening as data are
copyrighted and offered on a ‘for sale’ basis by international co-ordinating
Global monitoring of trends
requires inter-comparability and continuity of key observations, combined
with the recovery of historical information. Unfortunately, observation
systems for gathering climatic data are becoming increasingly costly and
difficult to maintain. Furthermore, some of the standard systems upon which
climate research depends (e.g. the international upper-air sounding system)
are being eroded.
The quality of the information
provided to the lay public, industry and governments is critical to the
public perception of this issue and the scientists studying it. This, in
turn, affects the allocation of limited resources for research and,
ultimately, to public well-being. Unfortunately, the quality and reliability
of the information is highly variable and is sometimes distorted. Scientists
need to do a better job of communicating such information to present an
accurate and timely perspective on the significance of their research and
Priorities in dealing with the Emergency
The priorities in dealing with the emergency are:
To encourage and support free
access to data on climate change
To monitor the monitoring of
the global environment
To stimulate the education of
the public with regard to the causes and effects of climate change.
The increasing vulnerability of
human society to the effects of climate change (e.g. More and more people
living on flood plains and in areas threatened by tropical cyclones).
Climatic extremes (e.g.
droughts) to determine the extent of change and variability.
Ways in which vulnerability to
climatic disasters can be reduced (e.g. forecasting drought in order to
Improved methods of forecasting
variability and change (e.g. improved models for predicting El Niño) and
the responsible issue of forecast products.
The adequacy of
climate-observing networks in light of the present and continuing
deterioration of the current systems.
Possible human influences on
climate and on atmospheric composition and chemistry (e.g. increased
greenhouse gases and tropospheric ozone).
The possible effects of natural
episodic influences on the climate (e.g. volcanic activity).
The effects of the
commercialisation of national meteorological services on data and
information services, observation networks and prediction research.
Workshop and Meeting Reports
ENABLING SCIENCE THROUGH DATA ACCESS IN THE FACE OF INCREASING PROTECTIONISM
A Statement by the WFS Permanent Monitoring Panel for
Climatology. Erice - 19 August 1999