The Data Buoy Cooperation Panel is an international program coordinating the use of autonomous data buoys to observe atmospheric and oceanographic conditions, over ocean areas where few other measurements are taken.
The twenty-sixth session of the Data Buoy Co-operation Panel (DBCP) was held in Oban, United Kingdom, from 27 to 30 September 2010, at the kind invitation of the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS).
A technical and scientific workshop was organized during the first day of the meeting. The themes of the workshop covered technology developments, operational practices, applications of collected data, integration of in-situ/satellite observations and observing/data management practices (traceability to standards). Twenty-three presentations were delivered to approximately eighty participants.
The Panel acknowledged Ms Hester Viola’s decision not to continue with the UNESCO as of July 2010. The Panel endorsed the recruitment process under UNESCO for the new Technical Coordinator. The Panel concurred with the high priority tasks proposed by Ms Viola for the new Technical Coordinator once recruited.
Reports were provided by the Executive Board, the DBCP Task Teams, the Action Groups, and the Pilot Projects, and decisions made according to their recommendations.
The Panel reviewed the JCOMM Observations Programme Area high priority activities for this JCOMM inter-sessional period as agreed upon at the third JCOMM Session (Marrakech, Morocco, November 2009), discussed their implications for the Panel, and made relevant decisions in this regard.
The Panel reviewed the status of drifting and moored buoy programmes. The global drifting buoy array has been very consistent and even, although the northern Indian has begun to be quite sparse and the north Western Pacific is still not filled. The total number of drifting buoys has been maintained well above 1250 and about half of those measuring Air Pressure. The Panel noted with appreciation that the Southern Ocean Buoy Programme (SOBP) is now approaching its goals of 300 barometer drifters operated South of 40S with a peak of 217 units reached in March 2009. As of July 2010 the number of RAMA sites implemented stands at 27 (59% complete).
Noting the successful outcome of the first "DBCP In-Region Western Indian Ocean Capacity Building Workshop", Cape Town, South Africa, April 2010, the Panel agreed to organize and convene a second workshop in Mauritius in Spring 2011 and to commit resources from its Trust Fund to support this activity.
The Panel concurred with the proposal to establish a “Joint DBCP/GHRSST Pilot Project to Upgrade Elements of the Global Drifting Buoy Fleet to Allow the Reporting of Higher Resolution SST and Position” as a way to enhance integration of in situ and satellite data and better understand the requirements of satellite products for SST data.
The Panel reviewed its web site, the monitoring tools provided by JCOMMOPS, and the status of DBCP Technical Documents. In particular, DBCP Technical Document entitled "Guide To Data Quality Control Tests to Perform By A GTS Processing Center" has been finalized. A new document entitled “Draft document of Sea Surface Salinity Quality Control processes for potential use on Data Buoy observations” has been submitted to the Panel for comment.
The Panel reviewed the status of buoy data timeliness, and was very pleased with the improvements in the Central Pacific and the Indian Ocean, but encouraged CLS to consider how it could improve the situation in the southern Atlantic or Western Pacific.
The Panel discussed the issue of vandalism on data buoys, noted the recommendations from the WMO and IOC Executive Councils in this regard, and agreed to finalize a report on the issue for submission to the next WMO Congress in 2011. The Panel established a small working group to provide continuity of attention to this important issue, and to provide a focal point for follow-up action by the Panel. The working group will also be a channel for further information requests, following the release of the vandalism report.
The Panel concurred with the legacy recommendations from the draft Project Report of the JCOMM Pilot Project for WIGOS, in particular regarding establishing an international forum of satellite data telecommunication users with International Organizations such as WMO, IOC, and FAO. The proposed forum should address remote data communication requirements for automatic environmental observing systems coordinated through partner organizations, system deficiencies, negotiate tariffs and consider potential improvements of the rendered services with all relevant operators of satellite data telecommunications systems.
The Panel recalled the importance of collecting instrument/platform metadata for marine climatology purposes, and JCOMM-III recommendations regarding the management of rigs and platforms metadata, and resulting discussions at the third ETMC Session. The Panel proposed that the DBCP eventually takes over full responsibility for all types of Rigs and Platform taking meteorological and/or oceanographic measurements, and for all related aspects, and to submit that proposal to the forthcoming JCOMM Management Committee meeting (Paris, France, 16-19 November 2010). The Task Team on Moored buoys has made good progress in defining the content and structure of metadata reporting requirements for moored buoys. Further efforts will be made in this regard by the Task Team in conjunction with the new TIP Technical Coordination Group.
The Panel noted the recommendations from the WMO-BIPM Workshop on Measurement Challenges for Global Observation Systems for Climate Change Monitoring: Traceability, Stability and Uncertainty (Geneva, Switzerland, 30 March to 1 April 2010) and agreed to address its recommendations.
The Panel recognized the considerable importance of the developing Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) to WMO and UNESCO/IOC, and to their Members/Member States, as well as the potential role for JCOMM in climate services. The Panel therefore agreed to follow the future developments of the GFCS closely and to consider how GFCS observational data requirements that can be met through the use of data buoys as part of the DBCP Implementation Strategy.
The Panel updated its operating principles, and approved them. It also updated its Implementation Strategy, taking into account the WMO and IOC Strategic Planning, the development of the WMO Integrated Global Observing Systems (WIGOS), and the GFCS.
The Panel discussed DBCP Trust Fund contributions, future commitments, and budget related matters. The Panel agreed on its budget for the next year with the clear understanding that any budgetary figures attributed should be regarded as upper limits. Because of increased DBCP activities, the Panel invited its members not currently contributing to the Trust Fund to discuss nationally whether a contribution could be made in the future, and contributing members to consider increasing their contributions.
The Panel re-elected Mr Al Wallace as its Chairperson, Mr Johan Stander as Vice-chairperson for the Southern Hemisphere, Mr Jean Rolland as Vice-chairperson for Europe, and Dr. R. Venkatesan (India) as the Vice-chairperson for Asia. The Panel agreed to organize its twenty-seventh session at the WMO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, from 26 to 29 September 2011.