The Copernicus Climate Change Service

Understanding our planet and the impact of climate change: a vexing question for several years now. How is Europe actually facing climate change and its impact? To take necessary actions and measurements, policymakers and public authorities need reliable and up-to-date information. Information on how our planet and climate are changing. This is why the European Union set up the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

Remote sensing as a driver to develop EU information services

Copernicus is the EU’s Earth observation programme. It addresses six thematic areas, one of which is the Copernicus Climate Change Service . With an ever-growing global population, our planet is suffering the consequences of human-induced climate change. To mitigate the effects we need to act now. The European Commission is investing millions in Earth-observation programmes. Thanks to these programmes various remote sensing techniques are being developed. Techniques and solutions that are necessary for gathering, combining and analysing various types of Earth-observation data and climate indicators to identify the drivers, and to forecast the expected impact.

Climate information about past, current and future states

Via the C3S online service portal, users will have access to information that assists in monitoring and predicting climate change, and that will therefore help to support adaptation and mitigation. The C3S service portal combines climate observations with the latest scientific methods to develop, quality-assured information about past, current and future states of the climate in Europe and worldwide.

VITO Remote Sensing has more than 20 years of experience in the production and analysis of global time series. In the Copernicus Climate Change Service, VITO Remote Sensing, together with the consortium partners, is responsible for delivering long-term series of global data on three Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) to the Climate Data Store (CDS). These ECVs are: Leaf Area Index (LAI), the fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (fAPAR) and surface albedo. The Climate Data Records (CDRs) cover a period of more than 35 years, stretching from 1991 to the present.