Joint Technical Commission on Oceanography and Marine Meteorology

What is JCOMM?

The Joint Technical Commission on Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) is an intergovernmental body of technical experts from the meteorological and oceanographic communities and came into being in 1999 when it was recognised that worldwide improvements in coordination and efficiency in these areas could be achieved by combining the expertise of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).

Urgent social and economic drivers need targeted improvements in weather, climate, water, oceanic and related environmental information and services. Risks associated with climate variability and extreme environmental events create social and economic stresses that require new meteorological, hydrological, oceanographic and climate services in order to ensure the safety and security of populations and the development of adaptive economic strategies. Responding to these risks is especially critical given population growth in environmentally vulnerable regions, such as continental coastlines and lowlands, and, in recent years, an apparent increase in the intensities and frequencies of extreme events. At the same time, while the future state of the oceans remains uncertain, we need to ensure that society and policymakers are better informed of the impact of oceans on humankind and vice versa.

JCOMM is co-chaired by a meteorologist and a oceanographer and is divided into three Programme Areas – Observations, (one of JCOMM’s aims is to develop observing networks under the guidance of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS)), Services and Data Management. Each Programme Area is managed by a co-ordinator, with specific tasks being undertaken by a panel of experts. In particular JCOMM coordinates, and develops and recommends standards and procedures for, a fully integrated marine observing, data management and services system that:

  • uses state-of-the-art technologies and capabilities;
  • is responsive to the evolving needs of all users of marine data and products;
  • and includes an outreach programme to enhance the national capacity of all maritime countries.

UK Involvement

As well as representation on the JCOMM Management Committee, the UK also has researchers and scientists on JCOMM panels including the Observations Programme Area, Data Buoy Cooperation Panel, and the Expert Team on Climate Change – many of whom are based at the National Oceanography Centre (NOCS).