What is an Essential Climate Variable?
An Essential Climate Variable is a physical, chemical or biological variable or a group of linked variables that critically contributes to the characterisation of Earth' s climate.More
The global observing system
The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) provides a framework for meeting the full range of national and international needs for climate observations.
GCOS defines 55 Essential Climate Variables that are required to systematically characterise Earth's climate system.
How ESA develops climate data records to address Essential Climate variables
ESA exploits the 40 year Earth observation data archive and information from operational missions to generate climate data records (CDRs) that address Essential Climate Variables ECVs.
These CDRs provide the empirical evidence needed to understand and predict the evolution of climate.
A 500-strong community of scientists perform the necessary research and development to generate these data records as part of the European Space Agency's Climate Change Initiative.