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ESA Climate Office


The ESA Climate Office aims to increase the use of European, and global, satellite-based Earth Observation data by the climate science and modelling community.

We oversee the Climate Change Initiative, a research programme that exploits archived and emerging satellite observations to develop long-term, global data records that describe the evolution of key components of the Earth system, known as Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) including land cover, land surface temperature, soil moisture, fire, biomass, lakes, permafrost, snow, glaciers, ice sheets (Antarctica and Greenland), sea ice, sea level, sea state, sea surface salinity, ocean colour, sea surface temperature, greenhouse gases, water vapour, ozone, aerosol, and cloud.

The ESA Climate Office is based at ECSAT, Harwell, United Kingdom. 
Contact us, as we also act as the focal point for the Agency's climate-related activities.

Susanne Mecklenburg, Head of the ESA Climate Office

Susanne is responsible for promoting and increasing the use of satellite-based Earth Observation data in climate science. Her current focus is the delivery of ESA's Climate Change Initiative programme and developing future programme activities with ESA Climate Office as the focal point for climate.

Susanne is the ESA representative to the Joint CEOS/CGMS Working Group on Climate (WGClimate) - the body responsible for responding to the UNFCCC and GCOS on the monitoring of climate from space. She is also a member of the WCRP Data Advisory Council.

She has a background in hydrology and use of ground-based radar to forecast rainfall for hydrological models. Susanne was previously the Mission Manager for SMOS, Sentinel 3 and FLEX.

Prior to joining ESA, she worked at the UK's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, ran the Earth Observation Programme for the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council, and acted as the UK Space Agency’s delegate to ESA on technical and scientific issues.

Anna Maria Trofaier, Earth Observation Applications Engineer (Cryosphere)

Anna Maria oversees the sea ice, snow, glaciers and soil moisture projects within the ESA Climate Change Initiative to ensure delivery of technical requirements. She is also currently working on developing a Massive Open Online Course on the cryosphere. 

She has a background in physics and remote sensing, with a focus on polar regions and initially joined the ESA Climate Office as a research fellow.

Paolo Cipollini, Earth Observation Applications Engineer (Oceans)

Paolo supports oceanic ESA Climate Change Initiative projects including LakesOcean Colour, Sea State, Sea Surface Salinity, Sea Surface Temperature, and works with scientists all over Europe. 

Paolo joined the ESA Climate Office in 2018 after 22 years at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK. There he used his background in electronics and telecommunication engineering to focus on satellite remote sensing of the ocean, studying large-scale ocean processes and coastal zones - a new discipline known as coastal altimetry.

Simon Pinnock, Earth Observation Applications Engineer (Atmosphere)

Simon manages the Aerosol, Cloud, Climate Modellers User Group and Water Vapour projects within the ESA Climate Change Initiative.

He has a PhD in astrophysics, and subsequently worked on greenhouse gas radiative forcing at the University of Reading, UK. Previously he worked at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, on satellite monitoring of forest fires.  He joined ESA in 2003, where he concentrated on developing global-scale datasets for land, oceans, atmosphere and the cryosphere. 

Clément Albergel, Climate Applications Scientist

Clément is a Climate Applications Scientist. He is responsible for the Lakes, Fire, Soil Moisture and RECCAP-2 projects.

His main areas of expertise are in land surface modelling, remote sensing of soil moisture and vegetation as well as data assimilation.

He has a PhD on satellite derived observations assimilation in land surface models. Prior to joining ESA, he has held positions at ECMWF, CNRM/Météo-France as a scientist from the French National Research Centre (CNRS) to develop land surface activities.

Michel Eisinger, performance and science products coordinator

Michael Eisinger, Performance and science Products Coordinator

Michael coordinates the teams writing software for the EarthCARE mission (Earth Cloud Aerosol and Radiation Explorer). He helps the industrial and academic partners to work together, and supports the engineers working on EarthCARE’s sensors. He first joined ESA to work on software for GOME-2 (Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment). He supports the ESA climate office when needed. He has a background in oceanic and atmospheric physics, and instruments for passive remote sensing. 

Ed Pechorro, Data Engineer

Ed has a variety of roles within the ESA Climate Office and no two days are ever the same. These include liaising with climate scientists to understand their resource needs, looking after climate data - including the Open Data Portal and CCI Toolbox - and working closely with Paul and Sophie on sharing climate information with various communities. 

Ed joined the ESA Climate Office in 2014, after seven years as a technical lead on climate change and Earth observation projects at Logica, and six years in the video game industry. He has a computer science background.

Sophie Hebden, Research Coordinator for Earth Observations

Sophie is seconded to the ESA Climate Office from Future Earth, a global network of sustainability scientists. Her role includes liaising with the environmental research networks of Future Earth to support interdisciplinary research. She works closely with Ed and Paul to share climate information with different communities and understand their needs.   

Sophie has a background in space physics and science communication. Prior to joining the ESA Climate Office she worked at the UK National Centre for Earth Observation at the University of Leicester, where she coordinated UK participation in the intergovernmental initiatives Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS).

Paul Fisher, Communications Manager

Paul is responsible for maximising awareness of the role satellite data play in advancing our understanding of Earth's climate system and predicting future change among a diverse range of audiences from policy-makers teachers and the public. 

He has close to 20 years of public relations and marketing experience spanning environmental consultancy and international development settings. Previously, he worked for the UK’s Centre for Hydrology & Ecology. 

Victoria Ayala, Team Assistant

Before joining the ESA Climate Office in 2018, Victoria had 6 years of PA experience and 11 years in office administration, but had a strong desire to work in the space industry.

Victoria is a key asset to the team, organising team meetings, travel, catering requests, social events and missions. She provides support to Susanne and the team’s participation at ESA events including the annual CCI Colocation meeting and our Climate Science Advisory Body.