Annex to Resolution 6 (EC-71)
TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL PANEL OF EXPERTS ON POLAR AND HIGH-MOUNTAIN OBSERVATIONS, RESEARCH AND SERVICES (EC-PHORS)
The Executive Council Panel of Experts on Polar and High-mountain Observations, Research and Services (EC-PHORS) shall be composed of members nominated by the Permanent Representatives of Members, including Parties to the Arctic Council (e.g. indigenous interest), the Antarctic Treaty, and participants from other organizations that have active meteorological, hydrological, oceanographic or cryospheric programmes, in particular in the polar and high-mountain regions.
Observers from other groups may be invited to attend meetings of the Panel.
The Panel is authorized to establish subgroups and task teams as and when required, including in particular an Antarctic Task Team, a High-mountain Task Team, a Polar Space Task Group, a GCW Steering Group.
The Panel shall:
(1) Operate under the general terms of reference of Regional Associations with regard to the WMO activities in Antarctica as spelled out in Annex II of Basic documents No. 1 (WMO No. 15);
(2) Continue advancing the following five key initiatives under the WMO polar and high-mountain regions priority activity: (a) AntON; (b) the polar Regional Climate Centres and polar Regional Outlook Forums; (c) GCW; (d) high-mountain region activities; and (e) GIPPS, including the Polar Prediction Project, and YOPP, as well as relevant research activities under the World Climate Research Programme;
(3) Emphasise, compile and maintain information on the socioeconomic benefits and cost–benefit aspects of WMO polar and high-mountain region activities in particular through outreach activities and by attracting expertise in this field, and engaging and aligning with existing mechanisms, such as the Societal and Economic Research and Applications subcommittee of the Polar Prediction Project and the CBS-OPAG/PWSD;
(4) Explore mechanisms to actively engage early career scientists in the delivery of results, including in collaboration with Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS).
The Panel will undertake:
For Polar Regions:
(a) To develop and promote an integrated approach to understanding the global impact of changes in polar regions so that the required services may be provided to users and governments may be advised on aspects of adaptation;
(b) To ensure that operational and research observing networks in polar regions (including AntON) are integrated within the framework of WIGOS and WIS and are enhanced to include cryosphere-related variables;
(c) To engage in a concerted effort to involve Members, technical commissions and regional associations, as well as relevant research and international organizations and bodies, in improving predictive capability in polar regions on timescales from hours to centuries;
(d) To coordinate WMO interests with other international organizations focused on polar science and observations, and to work collaboratively as appropriate;
(e) Where other initiatives are identified as aligned with the WMO goals, to engage and assess their validity and make recommendations to the Executive Council for further consideration;
(f) To oversee and guide the development and implementation of GCW in collaboration with technical commissions, regional associations and relevant WMO and international programmes, organizations, institutions and bodies;
(g) To oversee and guide the Polar Space Task Group, which provides coordination across space agencies to facilitate acquisition and distribution of fundamental satellite datasets, and to contribute to or support development of specific derived products for cryospheric scientific research and applications;
(h) To guide the development of GIPPS in collaboration with technical commissions, regional associations and relevant international programmes, organizations and bodies;
(i) To provide WMO participation in the implementation of the Arctic Council Agreement on enhancing international Arctic scientific cooperation;
(j) To facilitate the acquisition, exchange and archiving of observational data from polar regions in compliance with WIGOS requirements related to instruments, data exchange and the WMO Quality Management Framework to underpin the provision of services required for the polar regions;
(k) To provide a forum for discussion of relevant scientific issues and make recommendations on meteorological, hydrological, oceanographic and cryospheric research and operations related to the polar regions;
(l) To provide regular input on issues related to polar meteorology, hydrology, oceanography and the cryosphere to support the activities of relevant groups or bodies, such as the World Climate Programme, which includes the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), the World Climate Research Programme and the World Climate Services Programme; Global Atmosphere Watch; the World Weather Research Programme; the Global Framework for Climate Services; and technical commissions, regional associations and programmes;
(m) To ensure close collaboration with and contribute to other international organizations, committees and programmes concerned, such as the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, the Arctic Council, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, the International Arctic Science Committee, the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences and other relevant associations of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programmes, the Forum of Arctic Research Operators, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO.
For the Antarctic:
The Panel should cooperate, as appropriate, with other relevant international and regional entities:
(a) To promote the implementation of the resolutions of Congress and the Executive Council in the area from 60ºS to 90ºS;
(b) To coordinate programmes of surface and upper-air meteorological observations in the Antarctic, working with relevant international scientific organizations, and liaise with regional associations in relation to sub-Antarctic observations;
(c) To coordinate the design of AntON, comprising surface and upper-air stations, including the GCOS Surface Network, GCOS Upper-air Network, Global Atmosphere Watch and other relevant observing components;
(d) To coordinate standardization of observing, coding, data exchange and data management practices applied to the Antarctic;
(e) To propose recommendations to the Parties of the Antarctic Treaty System and Members of the Committee for Environmental Protection of the Antarctic Treaty.
For the Arctic:
(a) To promote WMO engagement with the Arctic Council and its Working Groups, in particular for providing appropriate observations and Earth system modelling frameworks in the Arctic region, supporting climate resilience and adaptation policies, advancing hydrology and water resources services, and understanding changes in the oceans;
(b) While appropriate functions are covered by the respective regional associations, the Panel may liaise with them in defining components of Arctic observing systems and services;
(c) To guide, in collaboration with the Commission for Hydrology, the further development of the Arctic Hydrological Cycle Observing System project;
(d) To hold a third YOPP Special Observing Period (SOP) for the Arctic in the period February 2020 to March 2020, taking into account lessons learned from first YOPP SOP, to complement the MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) project and benefit from the extensive observations during Arctic winter.
For the High-Mountain regions:
(a) To contribute to the work of regional associations, technical commissions and programmes in defining appropriate components of hydrometeorological and cryospheric observing systems and services in high mountain regions,
(b) To develop a strategy on WMO high mountain regions focused activities, including by considering an initiative similar to YOPP for the next financial period to be submitted to Congress at its eighteenth Session for its consideration;