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Unravel the composition of our planet's atmosphere


The atmosphere is a complex system – how is it monitored? What threats does it face?

A spot image
A spot image

Find out all this and more by registering for the free “Monitoring Atmospheric Composition” massive open online course (MOOC).

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Published on

20 December 2018

The Atmosphere MOOC, organised by EUMETSAT and the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) is a five-week course that provides an overview of atmosphere monitoring and the challenges it faces, plus an introduction to the latest in space technology and the networks of sensors/instruments that track conditions closer to Earth. 


You will also learn about the role of the Copernicus programme in enabling better monitoring of the composition of the atmosphere and how to access freely available Copernicus data.

The course has so far had more than 2700 registrations and will run on the FutureLearn platform until 17 February 2019. Once completed, participants will also receive a certificate for their efforts. As mentioned, enrollment/participation on the course is free and the modules are split into five weeks covering topics such as:

Threats to the atmosphere and why monitoring matters - How data from the space and ground-based monitoring networks are used by CAMS - Air quality and pollution types - Satellite monitoring and what we measure



The course is brought to you by physicist and broadcaster Dr Helen Czerski from University College London, and lead educators Dr Rosemary Munro from EUMETSAT and Dr Mark Parrington from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, with additional support from Dr Mark Higgins from EUMETSAT.

Other institutions guiding you along include the University of LeicesterKing's College LondonMétéo-France, the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the University of Bremen, the Finnish Meteorological Institute and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Questions about the course? Help is at hand! We filmed some live feedback sessions recently on our Facebook page answering any queries that cropped up during the first five weeks, so you might find what you're looking for there.


If all of this sounds interesting, register for the course over at the FutureLearn website and learn at your own pace and in your own time.

If, however, oceans are more your thing, why not try your hands at the 2016 Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) "Oceans from Space" MOOC. All content is now available on a standalone website here and is presented by Helen Czerski, Mark Higgins and Dr Hayley Evers-King, Marine Earth Observation Scientist at Plymouth Marine Lab.

Please note as this course is no longer active, certifications cannot be provided.

We hope you enjoy these free courses and would be happy to hear any feedback or questions you might have - happy learning!