Across the European Space Agency's Climate Change Initiative (CCI) programme, there are 26 Essential Climate Variable (ECV) projects. For information about each ECV, including their objectives, team members, news, documentation, data and more, visit the projects listed below.


The Aerosol project provides independently validated, high quality algorithms for processing long-term records of global aerosol properties from European satellite instruments.


The Biomass project currently provides global maps of above-ground biomass for five epochs (2010, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020), with these being capable of supporting quantification of biomass change.

Climate Modelling User Group (CMUG)

Linking the climate modelling community and satellite Earth observation experts across the CCI programme.


Generating long-term and coherent cloud property datasets that exploit multiple Earth observation missions


The Fire_cci project aims to improve consistency, using better algorithms for both pre-processing and burned area detection while incorporating error characterisation.

Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)

The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) CCI+ project aims to further develop retrieval algorithms needed to generate new high quality satellite-derived CO2 and CH4 atmospheric data products.


The main objective of the Glaciers CCI project is to contribute to the efforts of creating a globally complete and detailed glacier inventory as requested by GCOS.

High Resolution Land Cover

The HR Land Cover CCI studies and investigates the role of the spatial resolution of land cover and land cover change in supporting climate modelling research at regional scale.

Ice Sheets (Antarctic)

The Antarctic Ice Sheet project develops methods for producing long-term and reliable climate data records of Antarctica from satellite observations.

Ice Sheets (Greenland)

The Greenland Ice Sheets project produces data products of five ECV parameters, which are important in characterizing the Greenland Ice Sheet


The overarching objective of the Lakes project is to produce and validate a consistent data set of the variables grouped under the Lakes ECV.

Land Cover

The Land Cover project critically revisits all algorithms required for the generation of a global land product in the light of GCOS requirements.

Land Surface Temperature

The project aims to provide an accurate view of temperatures across land surfaces globally over the past 20-25 years.

Ocean Colour

This project focuses on the Ocean Colour ECV encompassing water-leaving radiance in the visible domain, derived chlorophyll and inherent optical properties and utilises data archives from Copernicus, ESA, NASA and NOAA.


The Ozone project focuses on the generation of multi-decadal time series of harmonised and consistent ozone data suitable to assess long-term changes in total ozone, as well as its vertical distribution.


This project is developing permafrost time series maps as Essential Climate Variable products primarily derived from satellite measurement

Precursors for aerosols and ozone

developing long term, satellite-derived climate data records for the Precursors for Aerosol and Ozone Essential Climate Variable


RECCAP-2 supports and accelerates the analysis of regional carbon budgets based on the results of data-driven models and process-oriented Global Dynamic Vegetation Models.

River Discharge

This project aims to produce and validate a consistent data set of the variables grouped under the River Discharge Essential Climate Variable

Sea Ice

The project aims to advance the retrieval capability for two main variables of the Sea Ice Essential Climate Variable (ECV): Sea ice concentration and sea ice thickness.

Sea Level

The Sea Level CCI project's main objective is to produce and validate a Sea Level Essential Climate Variable (ECV) product. This is achieved through four supporting aims.

Sea Level Budget Closure

This project aims to reduce current uncertainties of sea level change and its individual components, resulting in better closure of the sea level budget.

Sea State

The Sea State project is developing an 18-year data set (2002- 2020) capitalising on the rich satellite altimeter, SAR imager, and other data holdings available during that period.

Sea Surface Salinity

Generating improved calibrated global Sea Surface Salinity fields over a 10-year period (2010-2019) from all available satellite L-band radiometer measurements.

Sea Surface Temperature

The project aims to make climate data records for SST longer, more stable and more accurate, providing data users with different forms of data and documentation.


The Snow project generates long-time series of daily global snow extent maps from optical satellite data and daily global snow water equivalent products from passive microwave satellite data.

Soil Moisture

The project generates long-term global soil moisture records that contribute to hundreds of hydrological and climatological studies worldwide, as well as the annual BAMS "State of the Climate" reports.

Vegetation Parameters

The Vegetation Parameters project of the ESA Climate Change Initiative

Water Vapour

The Water Vapour project is generating new global high-quality climate data records of both total column and vertically resolved water vapour