Statement on Climate Action | EUMETSAT
Earth faces a threat.
The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is increasing, fueled by rising emissions. This causes a substantial increase in temperature across the globe.
Take the Arctic, which is currently warming more than twice as fast as the global average. Or consider Greenland where, since 2000, temperatures in some regions have jumped more than 8°C above the monthly average, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service. And looking even further back reveals that over the past 40 years, marine heat waves in the Eastern Mediterranean have become considerably more frequent.
The actions we take today matter.
As an operational European satellite agency, EUMETSAT is committed to taking the necessary steps to address climate change and its consequences through cooperative action. In fact, this commitment is an integral part of EUMETSAT. Both its founding convention and its mission statement emphasize operational climate monitoring and the detection of global climate change as one of the agency’s fundamental objectives. The climate data that EUMETSAT collects and processes enables experts to better understand climate change and policy makers to mitigate further damage to the planet.
EUMETSAT would like to underline its commitment to climate action by highlighting its contribution to:
Maintain recordings of essential climatic variables
Using data from the satellite missions it operates combined with data from the satellite missions of partner agencies, EUMETSAT produces data products on the atmosphere, land and ocean. These products form the basis of high-quality, long-term climate records of essential climate variables (ECVs) that are important for understanding and monitoring climate change and tracking.
ECVs represent 53 key physical, chemical and biological variables that can be used to characterize the global climate system. Satellite data collected and disseminated by EUMETSAT contribute directly to 25 ECVs, providing the international community with crucial empirical evidence on climate change.
The consistency and duration of these records – dating back more than 40 years – make them an invaluable resource for international and national meteorological and hydrological services, climate scientists and policy makers.
Sea level change estimates provided by the Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich mission are particularly important. Data from this mission deepen understanding of the climate system, as rising sea levels and melting of polar regions and inland glaciers are indicators of warming oceans. High-resolution near-shore measurements help countries adapt to climate change by providing the evidence they need to best protect their precious coastlines.
EUMETSAT is committed to maintaining the highest quality climate records by continuously analyzing and reprocessing existing climate data and extending the records as more complex data from future satellite missions becomes available.
EUMETSAT climate records are used in the annual reports on the state of the climate in Europe published by the Copernicus Climate Change Service and provide the basis for evidence-based decision-making, essential to responsibly mitigate the consequences of climate change.
Implementation of the Paris Agreement
Through the Paris Agreement, which entered into force in 2016, most of the world’s nations have pledged to continue their efforts to limit the increase in average global surface air temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
As a member of the Joint Committee for Earth Observation Satellites/Coordinating Group for Meteorological Satellites Climate Working Group, EUMETSAT plays a key role in shaping how space agencies collectively support this goal. On behalf of this group, EUMETSAT manages the satellite data from which the global inventory of existing and planned climate records is derived, a key element that space agencies use when reporting to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. climatic conditions during the annual conference of Des soirées.
In addition, the groundbreaking Copernicus CO2M mission will support the quantification of annual carbon dioxide emissions from localized human sources, including megacities and power plants. Through this mission, EUMETSAT will contribute to the Global Stocktake, a periodic inventory of greenhouse gas emissions carried out to determine the extent to which parties to the Paris Agreement are meeting their emission reduction targets.
Informing the United Nations about climate change
In 2021, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published the first part of its sixth assessment report with the aim of informing policymakers around the world about the latest physical knowledge of the climate.
Panel experts handpicked the best available data for this report, choosing to include 45 observational products with input from EUMETSAT. This represents a substantial contribution from EUMETSAT to the evidence on which the report is based, representing 36% of all datasets that use satellite data.
Provide continuous and long-term service
For climate monitoring to be useful, consistent data must be collected beyond the lifetime of any individual satellite. EUMETSAT will operate satellites to be launched in the coming years with the aim of continuing and improving the services currently provided.
These include the continuation of its Meteosat and Metop series with two missions, Meteosat Third Generation and EUMETSAT Polar System – Second Generation, both of which will carry state-of-the-art climate monitoring instruments. These systems will ensure data availability until the end of the 2040s.
In addition, through the European Union’s Copernicus programme, EUMETSAT will remain one of the main operators of the Sentinel satellites. This will allow EUMETSAT to continue its time series that tracks sea level rise.