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International groups


The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites, the Global Climate Observing System and the Group on Earth Observations

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EUMETSAT actively collaborates with international groups such as the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites, the Global Climate Observing System and the Group on Earth Observations.

Last Updated

28 November 2023

Published on

24 April 2023

The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) was established in September 1984 in recognition of the multidisciplinary nature of space-based Earth observations and the value of coordinating international efforts.  CEOS agencies communicate, collaborate, and exchange information on Earth observation activities, spurring useful partnerships.

The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) was established in 1992 to ensure that the observations and information required to address climate-related issues were obtained and made available to all potential users.

The intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is leading a worldwide effort to build a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) is comprised of members (mostly space agencies) and associates (associated national and international organisations). CEOS is recognised as the major, international forum for the coordination of Earth observation satellite programmes and for the interaction of these programmes with users of satellite data worldwide.

Our role

EUMETSAT has been a member of CEOS since 1989. We mainly lead its activities in the field of constellations for observing ocean surface topography, ocean surface wind, ocean colour, atmospheric monitoring and climate.

EUMETSAT was instrumental in the creation of the CEOS-CGMS Working Group on Climate and is in charge of implementing the global architecture for climate monitoring from space, jointly developed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), CEOS and the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS).

The Global Climate Observing System’s (GCOS) vision is that all users have access to the climate observations, data records and information they require to address pressing climate-related concerns. Users of GCOS data include individuals, national and international organisations, institutions and agencies.

The GCOS programme provides an operational framework for integrating and enhancing participating countries’ and organisations’ observational systems into one comprehensive system focused on the requirements of climate issues.

The programme does not directly make observations or generate data products. As a system of climate-relevant observing systems, it constitutes the climate observing component of the WMO global observing system and contributes to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems.

GCOS includes both in-situ and remote-sensing components, with its space-based components coordinated by the CEOS and CGMS.

Our role

EUMETSAT supports GCOS activities with the production of accurately calibrated and homogenised observations (fundamental climate data records) from its Metop, Meteosat and Jason satellites, contributing to more than half of the GCOS essential climate variables.

The Group on Earth Observation (GEO) is a voluntary partnership of governments and international organisations. Current membership includes 114 governments and the European Commission (EC), 146 intergovernmental, international and regional organisations with “participating organisation” status (including EUMETSAT) and 20 associates, such as commercial and non-governmental, non-profit and civil society organisations.

GEO provides a framework within which these entities can coordinate to launch joint initiatives, develop new projects and work towards the key objectives of the group as described in its strategic plan for 2016-2025.

Our role

EUMETSAT contributes to GEOSS through the development of the GEONETCast data dissemination infrastructure, with systems developed in cooperation with the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

Capacity-building and research projects rely on the GEONETCast infrastructure to develop new operational services, for example, programmes in Africa, the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe. 


EUMETSAT also contributes to GEOSS through its activities within the CEOS and CGMS groups.