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GCOS: Open Review of the Current Requirements for ECVs

The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) is launching an open review of the current requirements for Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) and would like to invite a wide range of reviewers to participate.

The open review will be the first step for a revision and update of the requirements planned for 2021/2. Revisions to the existing ECV and ECV products, or proposals for new ECV or ECV products, can be made and, support for the existing requirements is also encouraged. Comments should be submitted by the end of 2017 using the online form at

Snow Maps Reveal Shifts in Springtime Carbon Dioxide Uptake

Daily snow cover maps of the northern hemisphere show that spring plant growth has shifted 8 days earlier on average, over 36 years. As a result of rising global temperatures, the melting of seasonal snow cover is happening earlier in spring. However, the response of the surrounding boreal forests has been to increase their uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthetic activity.

CCI Sea Ice Dataset Release (Sea Ice Concentration v2.1)

The Sea Ice CCI team is pleased to announce the release of their latest dataset, Sea Ice Concentration v2.1, which incorporates an extension to the time-series (up to May 2017) provided by the previously released Sea Ice Concentration v2.0 dataset.

For more information, please visit the CCI page for Sea Ice or the CEDA catalogue entry.

CCI Toolbox v1.0 now available

CCI Toolbox v1.0 now available.

The CCI Toolbox team would like to invite you to install the new release of their software, download some data and try out the latest display features and operations.  

CCI Land Cover: Prototype high-resolution Land Cover map of Africa released

The first high-resolution (20 m per pixel) land cover map (prototype), classifying land cover types on the entire continent of Africa, has been released by the ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI) Land Cover project. This is a prototype map, created using a year's worth of data from Sentinel-2a, allows for the exploration of Africa's diverse landscapes in detail. User feedback is requested on the use of the dataset.

For more information, please see the ESA news item.

The Use of Satellite Data in Ice-sheet Sea-level Projections

The use of satellite data is vital to producing improvements in ice-sheet sea-level projections; a new paper (click here for link, published in Nature Climate Change) by the Antarctic Ice-sheet CCI project science leader, Andrew Shepherd (Centre of Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM), University of Leeds), explains how ice-sheet models have improved and shows, by comparing Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predictions of ice-sheet sea-level rise with Ice-sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE) data, that IPCC AR5 projections match actual ice-sheet trends.

RSE Special Issue on EO of ECVs by CCI Scientists

The aim of this special issue (click here for link), published in the Remote Sensing of Environment (RSE) journal, is to demonstrate how Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) can be generated from Earth Observation (EO) data and then used in climate modelling and other climate-related applications. Included in this issue are a number of papers solicited from those involved in running the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) ECV projects as well as the wider community of CCI dataset users.

CCI Soil Moisture Featured in BAMS State of the Climate in 2016 Report

The CCI Soil Moisture project are proud to announce that their overview of recent and historical global soil moisture conditions have been published in the State of the Climate in 2016 Report (released August 2017), the authoritative annual summary of the global climate that is published as a supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS).

The Calving of Antarctica's Larsen-C Ice Shelf

Last month we witnessed, with the aid of radar satellite Sentinel-1, Larsen-C, the largest remaining ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula, calve one of the biggest icebergs on record. Since the breakaway, Dr Anna Hogg (University of Leeds), a CCI Research Fellow working on the CCI’s Antarctic Ice Sheet project, and Dr Hilmar Gudmundsson (the British Antarctic Survey) have continued their research/monitoring efforts with the aim of improving our general understanding (i.e. the mechanics involved) of ice shelf life cycles, where calving events are naturally included and so not necessarily indicative of changing environmental conditions, and their important role in ice sheet stability.

For more information, please see the ESA news item or their latest publication in Nature Climate Change.

CCI+ Information Day

Following the allocation of new subscriptions to ESA's Climate Change Initiative in December 2016, the Climate Change Initiative programme organised an Information Day to provide potential bidders and stakeholders with information on future procurements under the CCI programme element over the period 2017-2020.

Please note that bidders for projects under CCI+ are limited to the Member State contributing to the programme: AT, BE, CH, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, GB, IE, IT, LU, NL, NO, PT, RO, SE, CA.

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