The network is organised around three themes over three years, with a possible (yet unfunded) extension to five years:
- Year 1 (2012/13): Taking the temperature of the Earth: Temperature Variability and Change across all Domains of Earth's Surface
- Year 2 (2013/14): Characterising surface temperatures in data-sparse and extreme regions (with focus on high-latitude domains)
- Year 3 (2014/15): Delivering and exploiting surface temperature observations in key land regions, with a focus on Africa
- Year 4 (2015/16): Temperatures in urban areas
- Year 5 (2016): Coastal zones (TBC)
The first theme is an inclusive question, designed to bring together research communities and develop a full picture of common research needs and aspirations. The second theme is a pressing research question to which the network will co-ordinate a useful and unique contribution. The third theme is one of long-term interest and importance in the strengthening of the observational foundations for climate change monitoring and diagnosis.