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Fourth Session of the GCW Steering Group

16-19 January 2017, Cambridge, UK

The fourth session of the Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW) Steering Group (GSG) took place from 16 to 19 January 2017. It was hosted by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), in Cambridge, United Kingdom. The meeting reviewed the progress on the implementation of GCW, and towards its operationalization by 2020. Reports of progress since the 3rd session of the Steering Group in December 2015 were presented by the Working Group Chairs and Team Leads. The participants examined the interaction with partners and identified actions for furthering these engagements in a more structured manner, and in the context of the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS) framework.

Among the results achieved in 2016 are the definition of the minimum observing program for the GCW surface observing network, the assessment of over 130 stations for inclusion in the GCW observing network, improvements to the real time reporting and exchange of snow depths, availability of satellite snow product intercomparison, availability of snow trackers, the evolution of the GCW website, advancing the interoperability of the GCW Data Portal with relevant Data Centres, the growth of the GCW Glossary. The meeting identified the GCW priorities for the following 1-2 years, among them being expanding the GCW observing network, in particular in data sparse areas, the completion of the Best Practices Guide and Manual, continuing the development of interoperability of GCW Data Portal with contributing Data Centers, the development of WIGOS Metadata vocabulary, the development of solutions for data exchange, developing a GCW integrated products strategy, including in the context of the engagement with the Arctic Polar Regional Climate Centres (Arctic PRCC) and in collaboration with all partners, including the Polar Satellite Task Group (PSTG) of WMO, continuing with the planned regional activities and taking a user needs perspective.