The study and monitoring of recent and present-day climate variations in sea level are organised on a world scale around the GLOSS programme of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. This programme relies on a network of around 300 coastal tide gauge stations (see above map) that are supplemented by denser regional networks. The GLOSS stations were organised around three poles of scientific interest:
> GLOSS-LTT, for the study of long term trends in sea level,
> GLOSS-ALT, for the "calibration" of satellite radar altimetres,
> GLOSS-OC, for the monitoring of general ocean circulation.
However, the scientific objectives may evolve. For instance, since the tsunami in Sumatra in December 2004 a fourth aspect, related to extreme events (tsunamis and storm waves), has been added to the GLOSS network applications, henceforth enhancing the stations technical requirements.
GLOSS Group of Experts
The group of experts is made up of national contacts, engineers and scientists. The mission entrusted to this group is to monitor the development of the programme and ensure that the scientific aims are matched by the financial support and technological advances. The scientific aims may also evolve as pointed out above. Click on the link to access the latest reports of the GLOSS group of experts (XIVth meeting, October 2015).
GLOSS Implementation Plan 2012
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UNESCO has published the new implementation plan of the Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS) in 2012. The updated implementation plan copes with the new challenges in the field of monitoring sea level for a better understanding of the processes behind sea level rise and variability. See the associated news in SONEL.
It should be noted that the IOC does not have the finances to build or maintain this kind of observation network. The success of the GLOSS programme depends on the volontary participation of countries and national bodies. It is indeed at the national level that concrete financial resources must be found. The IOC focuses on coordinating the resources and efforts of the participants on a world scale.