ESA's Climate Change Initiative is an important R&D component of Europe's EO data landscape working with numerous international organisations to ensure a seamless supply chain of satellite-based climate data records.
ESA CCI data are available from a wide variety of platforms and organisations and are free at the point of use. Some services may require user registration.
The Cate Toolbox provides a simple platform for CCI data exploration and analysis.
CCI data products are available to download at the Open Data Portal.
CCI data are also available, with the potential to combine with observational, model and reanalysis data from other platforms. Here we outline the European landscape for accessing space-based climate data:
Copernicus is the European Union's Earth observation programme, looking at our planet and its environment to benefit all European citizens. Its six information services were established by the European Commission within the Copernicus Earth Observation Programme.
Many Essential Climate Variables developed under ESA CCI are provided operationally by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), meaning that they are processed and updated regularly to support end user applications.
This service, led by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), provides operational climate data records to support adaptation and mitigation policies in Europe in response to climate change.
The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meterological Satellites (EUMETSAT) provides climate-relevant data records from its current and heritage meteorological missions and the four Sentinel missions of the Copernicus space component. It addresses a portfolio of Essential Climate Variables through its Satellite Application Facilities (SAFs). ESA CCI has also supported the development of some of the ECVs provided by the SAFs.
There are significant contributions of climate-relevant data and missions from national space agencies, for example from CNES, DLR, ASI and the UK Space Agency.
Further climate data records are available from individual European research institutes and universities and national research infrastructure. For example, the UK's JASMIN compute facility, based at the Science and Technologies Facilities Council, provides storage and analysis capabilities for the UK academic and research communities. CCI data are available for analysis on this platform, as part of the wider offering of the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis data catalogue.
Data for climate modellers
A key benefit of the CCI data for climate modelling is the uncertainty information provided in the data files, and their detailed documentation. Some of the CCI datasets are available under WCRP's Obs4MIPS initiative, which provides satellite observations in a format compatible with the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) model data.
Obs4MIPS datasets are available for CCI aerosol, clouds, CO2, methane, and sea surface temperature from the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) website.
The Earth System Model Evaluation Tool (ESMValTool) is a community diagnostics and performance metrics tool for the evaluation of Earth System Models (ESMs). The CCI Climate Modelling User Group has adapted CCI ECVs for use with ESMValTool, including aerosol, cloud, CO2, fire, land cover, land surface temperature, methane, ocean colour, ozone, salinity, sea ice, sea surface temperature, soil moisture and water vapour.
Internationally, climate data providers are members of the Committee for Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), whose coordination role ensures user observational requirements are addressed in a complementary way, through harmonised satellite mission planning.
The Joint Working Group on Climate (WGClimate), jointly led by CEOS agencies and the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellite (CGMS), aims to improve the systematic availability of climate data records. Products generated by CCI and C3S are systematically added to the WGClimate online inventory of Essential Climate Variables. The group addresses how systematic Earth Observation can help to support the Paris Agreement.