The meteorological community has a long tradition of standardising climate data, necesary. As a research and development programme the ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI) has formulated strict data standards for generating its suite of validated, error-characterised Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) from space data.

It has developed a set of requirements to ensure consistency, harmonisation, and ease of use for the varied datasets spanning all CCI projects. This includes a CCI Ontology, a common vocabulary and metadata conventions.

The ESA Climate Office works closely with the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and operational climate services, in particular the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), to ensure coordination and consistency. The processing systems and algorithms for many of the ECV projects developed by CCI have been transferred to C3S for operational data provision. The ESA Climate Office is jointly developing data standards for ECVs with C3S.