EUMETSAT plays a significant role in the production of data sets that help climate scientists deepen their understanding of the present state of the climate and anticipating its future evolution. We have an archive of satellite data that dates back to the early 1980s. It provides the basis for all activities associated with the generation of Climate Data Records (CDRs). We keep records of calibrated and quality-controlled sensor data (Fundamental Climate Data Records) and validated and quality-controlled geophysical variables derived from these Fundamental Climate Data Records (Thematic Climate Data Records).
Climate monitoring overview
In June 2009, our Member States made a strong commitment to climate monitoring, acknowledging that the selection, generation and information, and data stewardship for Climate Data Records (CDRs) should be the main focus of EUMETSAT activities in support of climate monitoring; climate change analysis, and other climate services. The regular reprocessing of this archive is part of our stewardship procedures, ensuring that the data records benefit from the latest scientific insights and that all ancillary information on the satellite instruments is preserved.
The generation of CDRs is distributed over the Central Application Facility (CAF) and the Satellite Application Facilities (SAFs). The specialised SAF on Climate Monitoring provides the majority of the records, including atmospheric temperature and moisture; cloud properties, and radiation budget estimates. The SAFs on oceans and ozone provide records on sea-ice coverage and total column ozone and other trace gases. All these records are at a level of quality allowing the analysis of longer term climate variability and, potentially, climate change.
Climate data records
Our archive has both sensor data and satellite products from the Meteosat First Generation and Meteosat Second Generation satellites. In addition, several reprocessed datasets have been produced in the context of NWP model-based reanalysis at ECMWF. These datasets, although not a full climate data record, are useful for shorter term variability analysis and process studies. A list of them can be found on the climate products page.
Our current satellites (Meteosat Second Generation, the EUMETSAT Polar System and Jason) provide up-to-date information on the world's climate. In the climate context, different levels of satellite products should be distinguished due to different applications and requirements on accuracy, spatiotemporal coverage and stability:
Getting climate data