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observaton system for climate. European biomass and vegetaton characteristcs and
countries are investng massively in a new global distributons of greenhouse gases.
generaton of operatonal satellites to support
climate acton and ensure improved weather Many of these experimental capabilites, when
forecastng for the coming thirty years. proven and perfected, will be integrated into
next generaton operatonal monitoring systems.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is now
building the third generaton Meteosat The Copernicus and Earth Explorer systems
geostatonary observing system and the second all operate under a free and open data
policy. This signals the strong commitment of
generaton Metop polar-orbitng series, both to European countries to back up their climate
be operated by Eumetsat.
and environment policies, by sharing access to
ESA and the European Union are together this vital data with scientsts, public and private
implementng “Copernicus”, a major new global sector organizatons all over the world, thus
monitoring system, which over the next fve ensuring the scientfc integrity, transparency
years will deploy six constellatons of “Sentnel” and traceability of informaton used in global
satellites and deliver contnuous, long-term, decision-making.
high-quality observatons of land, ocean, Strengthened internatonal cooperaton, to
atmosphere, biosphere and cryosphere from establish, calibrate, validate, maintain and share
a powerful suite of optcal, microwave and
infrared sensors. access, to satellite and in-situ observatons,
for a global climate observing system, will be a
analysing variables key factor in the efectveness of any concerted
The frst of these, Sentnel-1, was successfully global acton fnally taken on climate change.
launched in April 2014. Sentnel 2 A was
successfully launched in June 2015 and Sentnel
3 A is planned to be launched at the end of the
ESA is also developing the Earth Explorer
research missions, which will contnue to
introduce innovatve space-borne capabilites to
measure less well understood climate variables
such as cloud and aerosol optcal propertes,
atmospheric wind profles, above-ground

Figure 2.

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