Hannah Griffith and Amy Doherty, Met Office
Through its Climate Change Initiative (CCI), ESA develops a suite of satellite data records of 36 key components of the climate system, known as Essential Climate Variables (ECVs). The CCI programme also comprises a dedicated Climate Modelling User Group (CMUG) project which places a climate system perspective at the centre of the CCI programme. Scientists use ESA CCI ECVs to study climate drivers, interactions and feedbacks, tipping points and fluxes of energy, water, and carbon.
The CCI’s ECVs span all aspects of the Earth system and are available for long time periods. For example, the longest ECVs include Sea Ice, Aerosol, Snow, and Soil Moisture. All CCI ECV datasets are fully validated and have high levels of traceability and consistency, including quantitative estimates of uncertainty required by both climate science and modelling communities.
The ESA CCI’s Open Data Portal provides free and Open Access to 100+ high-quality satellite-derived climate datasets.