The TERRABITES activity is very timely as a greater understanding of the Earth system and the effect of climate change will strongly depend on achieving mutual understanding between these communities. Data providers, for instance, need to understand better the requirements of the modelling community, and the modelling community needs to understand better the information content provided by remote-sensing systems.
Today, more remote sensing data is being acquired, developed and delivered to the global modelling community than at any other time in our history. As a consequence, more and more data are being incorporated into climate models. ESA's Climate Change Initiative, for example, is generating, preserving and providing access to long-term EO data sets of 'Essential Climate Variables' and making them freely available to climate research and modelling communities worldwide.
Moreover, archived ESA satellite data will be combined with data from new missions to produce information on a wide range of climate variables. The initiative will provide the international scientific community with a powerful tool to monitor and understand better the state of the climate system and help to predict the effects a changing climate may bring.
ESA is also developing five dedicated satellites, called the Sentinels, to avoid gaps in EO data by providing continuity with current satellite missions. This fleet of satellites, being developed within the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative of the EU, offers improved observational capabilities and a long-term operational commitment. Furthermore, the Sentinels offer a range of synergies with ESA's Earth Explorer missions, selected and developed in close cooperat
|Contact: Robert Meisner|
European Space Agency