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Copernicus presents state of Europe’s climate

The EU-funded Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), both implemented by ECMWF, have drawn up an overview of climate indicators in 2017 with a special emphasis on Europe.

  The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), both implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), are presenting the European State of the Climate summary, an overview of climate indicators in 2017, at the European Parliament in Brussels on 10 April. The event is held under the patronage of the European Parliament and hosted by Members of the EU Parliament, Flavio Zanonato and Klaus Buchner.

Four years after its launch, the European flagship Earth observation programme Copernicus is delivering an unprecedented amount of environmental data in support of public policy and of the development of a successful and sustainable knowledge-based economy. With CAMS already fully operational and C3S reaching the end of its pre-operational phase, the European State of the Climate event is an excellent opportunity to showcase ECMWF’s contributions to the Copernicus programme to the European Parliament and interested parties.

The Copernicus services implemented by ECMWF routinely monitor data on a global scale. Satellite and in-situ data acquired by Copernicus is fed into state-of-the-art computer models to provide updated maps, graphs, forecasts and many other materials. From this information, ECMWF has now compiled the ‘European State of the Climate Summary – 2017’, a set of relevant indicators drawn from its services that provide an overview of the year 2017 in the context of a changing climate.

For instance, in 2017, Europe has seen average temperatures that were 0.8 degrees Celsius higher than the average over the 1981-2010 period. Notably, the southwest region of Europe experienced extreme droughts, with very low precipitation and soil moisture levels across the region. In the European sector of the Arctic a reduction in winter sea ice area by 600,000 square kilometres was recorded and a substantial ice thickness loss has been observed in glaciers around the globe since the 1960s. The Summary depicts the long-term evolution of several key climate variables that can be used to assess global and regional trends.

Earth observation data are key to understanding the state of our planet. By providing free, reliable and up-to-date environmental information, the Copernicus services support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The observational data and forecasts on greenhouse gases and surface air temperatures also contribute to the monitoring of the effectiveness of the COP21 Paris Agreement. The Copernicus services thus provide policy makers, industry and the public with the necessary environmental information to work together on a more sustainable future.

A number of practical applications based on the data provided by the Copernicus services are also being showcased during the event, emphasising how the information brought by Copernicus stimulates the economy and serves the European citizens. Examples will be shown about the growing market of smartphone applications providing information about air quality or the emerging businesses delivering ‘climate services’ such as those using longer-term climate predictions to assess future river flows and renewable energy indicators. 


Copernicus Communication 2018

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