An update to ESA’s climate analysis toolbox that combines information collected from numerous satellite missions is now available, and can supercharge climate-change research studies for scientists and degree-level students.
The toolbox, which has been developed by ESA’s Climate Change Initiative (CCI), allows users to access, analyse and visualise 122 terabytes of global satellite-derived climate observations covering the last 40 years, including data from the latest generation of Copernicus Sentinel missions.
The data contain key components of the Earth system, including greenhouse-gas concentrations, ocean temperature, cloud cover, sea-level variability, changes in sea ice, and several important land-based variables.
These observations feed into the UNFCCC and its IPCC assessment reports – the key international body responsible for the systematic collection of information about climate change – and are fundamental to understanding how Earth’s climate has evolved and how it will develop in the future.
The newly released version gives users a head-start in their climate investigations. Through a single access point to mature and validated essential climate variables in the CCI Open Data Portal combined with a rich array of analytical tools, students and researchers can perform in-depth investigations of their scientific questions.
Single and multiple climate variables can be visualised and compared both in space and time via an interactive 3D globe. Results can be produced in a range of graphical formats including time-series plots and 2D animated maps.
According to Dr Rainer Hollmann, a champion user from Deutscher Wetterdienst DWD, the toolbox is able to fully integrate with researchers’ existing coding libraries via a Python Application Programming Interface. He adds, “The toolbox also has a user-friendly interface giving students and non-programmers the power to interact with the data and learn how climate variables behave, change and interact.”
To support the new release, a new training video is available and guides beginners in the fundamentals of ingesting and visualising climate data and how to perform operations to manipulate the data.
Free downloads of the toolbox are available for Windows, Linux or Mac at www.climatetoolbox.io.