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The ESA climate change initiative: satellite data records for essential climate variables

Hollman, R., Merchant, C. J. ORCID:, Saunders, R., Downy, C., Buchwitz, M., Cazenave, A., Chuvieco, E., Defourny, P., de Leeuw, G., Forsberg, R., Holzer-Popp, T., Paul, F., Sandven, S., Sathyendranath, S., van Roozendael, M. and Wagner, W. (2013) The ESA climate change initiative: satellite data records for essential climate variables. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 94 (10). ISSN 1520-0477

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00254.1


Observations of Earth from space have been made for over 40 years and have contributed to advances in many aspects of climate science. However, attempts to exploit this wealth of data are often hampered by a lack of homogeneity and continuity and by insufficient understanding of the products and their uncertainties. There is, therefore, a need to reassess and reprocess satellite datasets to maximize their usefulness for climate science. The European Space Agency has responded to this need by establishing the Climate Change Initiative (CCI). The CCI will create new climate data records for (currently) 13 essential climate variables (ECVs) and make these open and easily accessible to all. Each ECV project works closely with users to produce time series from the available satellite observations relevant to users' needs. A climate modeling users' group provides a climate system perspective and a forum to bring the data and modeling communities together. This paper presents the CCI program. It outlines its benefit and presents approaches and challenges for each ECV project, covering clouds, aerosols, ozone, greenhouse gases, sea surface temperature, ocean color, sea level, sea ice, land cover, fire, glaciers, soil moisture, and ice sheets. It also discusses how the CCI approach may contribute to defining and shaping future developments in Earth observation for climate science.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
ID Code:35843
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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