Goal and objectives
CEOP–HE (Coordinated Energy and Water Cycle Observation Project - High Elevations) is a working group implemented in early 2008 as a new component of "regional focus" within CEOP Phase II “project of projects”.
HE is a concerted, international and interdisciplinary effort aimed to advance knowledge on physical and dinamical processes at high elevations while contributing to global climate change and water cycle studies. HE will address the current lack of harmonic, quality datasets in the majority of the world’s high elevation regions and the need for improved dialogue amongst researchers concerned with this data. In this context, the term “high elevations” should be understood to include obvious factors such as altitudes along and above the timberline, high plateaus, rough relief, low atmospheric pressure and low average temperature, although sites that directly create or influence regional climate patterns (e.g., water supply) or allow for monitoring of boundary layer dynamics are also taken into consideration.
Main peculiarity of HE research is related to the extremes characteristics of these sites, whose conditions of low pressure and temperature as well as the inhomogeneous landscape roughness of the high altitude areas could affect data quality and representativeness.
It is furthermore important taking into account that high elevation areas are often located in developing countries where the carrying out of capacity buildings activities is very important for local populations.
The overall goal of HE within the GEWEX/CEOP Projects is to study multi-scale variability in hydro-meteorological and energy cycles in high elevation environments, improving observation, modeling and data management.
In particular, to achieve the above goal, HE'S objectives are:
- improve the understanding of the energy cycle and climate change in mountain regions, promoting long-term monitoring and establishing a consolidated network of observatories located at high altitude, with the perspective of coordinating a Global High Elevations Watch (GHEW);
- study the water cycle in high elevation regions with particular attention to climate change effects on glaciers, permafrost, hydrology and mountain ecosystems;
- improve the understanding of aerosol influence on energy and water cycles in high elevation areas;
- promote and develop research activities in case study areas located at high elevations at the worldwide level.