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USE+FUL | What is Copernicus?

Copernicus is the European Union’s Earth Observation Programme, which monitors our planet and its environment for the ultimate benefit of the citizens of Europe. It delivers data, information, and services based on satellite Earth Observation data and in situ (non-space) data. The Programme is funded, coordinated, and managed by the European Commission in cooperation with partners such as ESA and EUMETSAT.

The Copernicus program is served by a set of dedicated satellites (the Sentinel family) and contributing missions (existing commercial and public satellites). The Sentinel satellites are specifically designed to meet the needs of the Copernicus information services and their users. Since the launch of Sentinel-1A in 2014, the European Union has initiated a process to place a complete constellation of almost 20 satellites in orbit before 2030.

Today, there are seven Sentinel satellites in orbit, of four different types. Copernicus satellites, along with ground-based, airborne, and seaborne measurement sensors, are providing vast amounts of global data.

The Copernicus services transform the wealth of satellite and in situ data into timely and actionable information by processing and analyzing it. The services deliver datasets and time series that are comparable and searchable, ensuring that trends and changes are monitored. Patterns are examined and used to create better forecasts of, for example, the ocean and the atmosphere.

Maps are derived from imagery, features and anomalies are identified and statistical information is extracted. These value-adding activities are streamlined through six thematic streams of Copernicus services: the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS), the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service (CLMS), the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS) and the Copernicus Security Service.

The information services, as well as the data from which they are derived, are accessible on a full, free and open basis by anyone. This data and information are used by service providers, public authorities, and international organizations to improve the quality of life for citizens of Europe and around the world, to monitor and mitigate climate change, and to preserve our fragile environment.

Europe in 2020 ( what happened last year on our nature)

Europe saw its warmest year, winter, and autumn on record. Wet and dry conditions varied substantially across the region and the year. This provides the 2020 view for Europe compared to the long-term trends of variables across the climate system. Key events that occurred during the year are also described within a climatic context.

Winter in northeastern Europe was nearly 1.9°C warmer than the previous record, with low sea ice cover for the Baltic Sea and a low number of days with snow in some areas.

The start of the year saw a remarkable transition from wet to dry conditions. In northwestern Europe, it was one of the driest springs on record.

In early spring, there was a remarkable transition from wet to dry conditions, as captured in precipitation levels, river discharge, and vegetation cover.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S)

The C3S mission is to support the adaptation and mitigation policies of the European Union by providing consistent and authoritative information about climate change. We offer free and open access to climate data and tools based on the best available science. We listen to our users and endeavor to help them meet their goals in dealing with the impacts of climate change.

C3S is based on climate research conducted as part of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and responds to user needs as defined by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). C3S contributes significantly to the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).

Why do we require climate data?

The Copernicus Climate Change Service, which is integrated with all other Copernicus Services, provides significant economic value to Europe by:

● informing policy development to protect citizens from climate-related hazards such as high-impact weather events;

● improving the planning of mitigation and adaptation practices for key human and societal activities;

● promoting the development of new services for the benefit of society.

What kind of information does the Climate Change Service offer?

The Copernicus Climate Change Service combines observations of the climate system with the most recent science to produce authoritative, high-quality information about the past, present, and future states of the climate in Europe and around the world.

The portfolio of service products includes:

● Consistent estimates of multiple Essential Climate Variables

● Global and regional reanalyses (covering a comprehensive Earth system domain: atmosphere, ocean, land, carbon)

● Products based on observations alone (gridded; homogenized station series; reprocessed Climate Data Records)

● A near-real-time climate monitoring facility

● Multi-model seasonal forecasts

● Climate projections at global and regional scales

Effective evaluation and quality control ensure that C3S reflects the most recent advances in climate science and that innovative service elements reflect current research.

The C3S outreach strategy aims to ensure that service elements communicate effectively and consistently with users. Its goal is to raise public awareness of the role of the Climate Change Service by developing educational resources and organizing events to raise awareness of climate change issues.

Durmus Dikmen

ESC Volunteer@ICDET



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