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Climate Change Initiative project presentations at EGU 2020

Several speakers from CCI projects are presenting at the virtual  European Geosciences Union (EGU) conference from 4-8 May. Details are below:

Monday, 4 May

Data products from the ESA CCI Sea Level Budget Closure project
Martin Horwath and the Sea Level Budget Closure CCI Team
Mon, 04 May, 08:30-10:15 | D3799
EGU2020-12811 | Displays | CL4.5

Global validation of the ESA CCI+ Sea Surface Salinity  
Adrien Martin, Sébastien Guimbard, Jacqueline Boutin, Nicolas Reul, and Rafael Catany
Mon, 04 May, 08:30-10:15 | D2873 | EGU2020-11683 | Displays | OS4.5

Overview of the CCI+SSS project
Jacqueline Boutin, Nicolas Reul, Julia Koehler, Adrien Martin, Rafael Catany, and Climate Change Initiative Salinity Consortium
Mon, 04 May, 08:30-10:15 | D2864 | EGU2020-7513 | Displays | OS4.5

New data releases from the ESA Climate Change Initiative

Several new climate data products have been released to open data portal of ESA’s Climate Change Initiative in the period 1 May, 2020.

Recent updates include the addition of the first Snow product - Snow Water Equivalent 1979-2018 - and greenhouse gas products based on data retrieval from the OCO-2 (for XCO2) and Sentinel-5P (for XCH4) satellites. 

Data supporting northern hemispere permafrost extent mapping, the global distribution of above-ground biomass and a first version of global sea surface salinity datasets are outputs from newer ECV projects set up through the Climate Change Initiative. 

The first decade of Sea Surface Salinity observations from space – a review

Global satellite Sea Surface Salinity observations provide an essential means to better reveal the influence of salinity on ocean circulation, bio-geochemistry, its relations to climate variability, air-sea interactions, and the global water cycle. 

A new paper by lead author and CCI Science Lead, Nicolas Reul presents the sensor characteristics and algorithms associated with the ESA’s SMOS mission, in operation since 2009, and NASA’s Aquarius and SMAP missions which together provide the first decadal-scale Sea Surface Salinity dataset from space, now spanning 2010 to 2019.

The paper also describes the major scientific achievements and the quality assessment of latest satellite products for this fundamentally important Essential Climate Variable (ECV).

ESA’s Climate Change Initiative Sea Surface Salinity project continues to generate improved, calibrated global time series from all available satellite L-band radiometer measurements such as SMOS, Aquarius and SMAP. First versions of weekly and monthly sea surface salinity data products spanning 2010-2019 are freely available for evaluation purposes from the Climate Change Initiative’s data portal. The project is also looking into retrieving salinity from earlier satellite radiometers operating in the C-band of the electromagnetic spectrum, that would allow extending the time series back in time to the early 2000s.

Changes in climate patterns and their association to natural hazard distribution in South Tyrol (Eastern Italian Alps)

New paper - Changes in climate patterns and their association to natural hazard distribution in South Tyrol (Eastern Italian Alps)The impacts of climate change play out through extreme and “abnormal” weather.  

In mountainous areas, extreme meteorological events are becoming more frequent, such as the 2018 Vaia storm in the Italian Alps. By triggering landslides or debris flows, these events can pose a potentially increasing hazard for human life and infrastructure.

In a new paper, published in Nature Scientific Reports, ESA research fellow, Romy Schlögel, uses satellite-derived climate data records and new Earth Observation measurements from high return rate satellites such as the Copernicus Sentinels to investigate the spatio-temporalevolution of climatic and natural hazard events recorded in South Tyrol, Italy as well as potential relations between meteorological conditions and the hazard occurrence.


Future Earth and ESA release call for COP26 Research demonstrators

Future Earth has released a call for proposals of Research demonstrators for the UNFCCC COP26, in partnership with the European Space Agency.

This open call seeks proposals for the production of research demonstrators to show how research data can be used by end users, make an impact on policy and/or facilitate commercial or operational uptake of the research.

Of particular note is the requirement that proposals include the use of ESA CCI data, and that lead applicants represent the Future Earth Global Research Projects (GRPs) and Knowledge Action Networks (KANs) as active members, obtaining a letter of support from their GRP or KAN International Project Office.

New Soil Moisture data products released

cci soil moisture logoThe CCI Soil Moisture project has released new product datasets. Version 04.7 extends the ACTIVE, PASSIVE and COMBINED for additional 12 months, now providing global soil moisture data up to 31-12-2019.

The current product version is based on the algorithm v04.4, although differences in the input datasets occur. At v04.7, updated L2 products for both passive and active products are used. These changes result in only minor data flagging alterations and v04.7 is otherwise similar to v04.5. Detailed descriptions of the production process, ESA CCI SM algorithm and input datasets are available in the relevant documentation.

To gain access to the ESA CCI SM v04.7 products, please fill out the registration form and follow the instructions in the registration email.

WMO State of the Global Climate in 2019 report highlights several contributions from ESA CCI

The World Meteorological Organization released its Statement on the State of the Global Climate forWMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2019 2019 this week (10 March) to outline the signs and impacts of climate change in the atmosphere, land and oceans. Data from ESA CCI were highlighted from the CCI Sea Level project and in a sea ice product citing CCI Sea Ice

The report highlights low sea ice extent in its key messages alongside high mean global temperature, record high levels for ocean heat content and atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, and the recent acceleration in global mean sea level.

2019 was the second warmest year in the instrumental record, with global average air temperature at 1.1°C above estimated pre-industrial levels, second only to the record set in 2016 due to a strong El Niño event.

Atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases were summarized for 2018: these have reached new highs, with globally averaged mole fractions of carbon dioxide (CO2) at 407.8±0.1 parts per million (ppm), methane (CH4) at 1869±2 parts per billion (ppb) and nitrous oxide (N2O) at 331.1±0.1 ppb. Preliminary data indicates that greenhouse gas concentrations continued to increase in 2019.

Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice six times faster than in the 1990s, new study shows

The rate of ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica is currently on track with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s worst-case climate warming scenario, according to a new study published in the journal Nature today [11 March].

The authors - comprising an international team of polar researchers, including several scientists working on ESA's Climate Change initiative Ice Sheet projects - compared and combined data from 11 satellites – including ESA’s ERS-1, ERS-2, Envisat and CryoSat missions, as well as the EU’s Copernicus Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 missions – to monitor changes in the ice sheet’s volume, flow and gravity.

The study finds that:

  • Greenland and Antarctica lost 6.4 trillion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017 – pushing global sea levels up by 17.8 millimetres.
  • The combined rate of ice loss has risen by a factor of six in just three decades (since the 1990s)
  • Polar ice sheets are now responsible for a third of all sea level rise.

For the full story visit 

Caption: Antarctica and Greenland’s contribution to sea level change

Burned area trends in the Amazon similar to previous years

A detailed analysis, using data from ESA's Climate Change Initiative, indicates that while there was a small increase of fires in 2019 compared to 2018, fires in Brazil were similar to the average annual number of fires detected over the past 18 years. 

Total burned area in the Amazon - 2019 compared to the 2001-2018 average

- Total burned area in the Amazon - 2019 compared to the 2001-2018 average

NEW PAPER: Burned Area Detection and Mapping: Intercomparison of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 Based Algorithms over Tropical Africa

Optical-based algorithms are significantly more accurate than SAR based algorithms, particularly over regions where persistent cloud cover is not an issue.

This is the key finding of a new study, involving the Fire_cci team, which compared the performance of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 burned area detection and mapping algorithms in tropical and sub-tropical Africa during the 2015–2016 fire seasons.

Tiles used for inter-comparison together with the mean daily cloud cover (2015) and the total burned (2016), according to the FireCCI5.1 global product. The source of the optical imagery used to generate the reference fire perimeters for each of the analysed tiles is also shown.

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