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The nature of climate change is such that no individual organisation - or country - has the capability and resources to fully respond to its challenges independently.
In particular, the need for global information on key indicators of climate change means that steps have to be taken to harmonise and integrate the various observing systems in order to be able to provide the required consistent information.
Monitoring global climate change is a priority on the political agenda and the issue is formally addressed through the UNFCCC, which in turn has placed responsibility for defining and specifying the requirements for observations relevant to climate change with Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).
GCOS was set up to ensure the availability of global climate observations for monitoring the climate system. It has identified a list of Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) that are currently ready for implementation on a global scale and which are also highly relevant for the goals of the UNFCCC. GCOS has also published a plan that clearly defines the related satellite requirements as the need for global information on key indicators of climate change. This in turn implies that steps have to be taken to harmonise and integrate the various observing systems in order to be able to provide the consistent information required.
In order to optimise its efforts within a global context, EUMETSAT coordinates its climate activities through the framework of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), whose climate-related activities generally focus on fulfilling the satellite requirements of GCOS.
In this respect, there is an understanding with the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) that CEOS will coordinate the activities of the Earth observation satellite agencies.
In addition, EUMETSAT participates in a number of global and European initiatives to improve the generation of, and access to, timely and high-quality climate information: the Global Space-based Inter-Calibration System (GSICS) and the WMO's Sustained, Coordinated Processing of Environmental Satellite Data for Climate Monitoring (SCOPE-CM) initiatives.
GSICS was established by satellite operating agencies to ensure that measurements from different satellite systems are inter-calibrated so that all the resulting observations and products are comparable both at a global level and over the ong time periods necessary.
The overall objective of SCOPE-CM is the continuous and sustained provision of high-quality ECV satellite products on a global scale.
Cooperation with ESA and the European Commission
EUMETSAT also supports with its data and services other climate related initiatives such as the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project and the ESA Climate Change Initiative. EUMETSAT will also participate in the dialogue on climate aiming at shaping a European response to requirements for climate from space and will contribute to the planning of the GMES service as soon as its scope has been defined.
12-page leaflet with an overview explaining the global challenge of Climate Monitoring, and EUMETSAT's contribution