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European satellite monitoring programme (Copernicus): climate aspects

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European satellite monitoring programme (Copernicus): climate aspects

Copernicus is a civil programme that uses satellite technology to monitor the Earth. It provides reliable and up-to-date information on the state of our environment by regularly tracking changes in the atmosphere, oceans and land masses. The data are invaluable for tackling climate change, as well as for sectors as diverse as human health and tourism.

ACT

Regulation (EU) No 377/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 establishing the Copernicus programme and repealing Regulation (EU) No 911/2010.

SUMMARY

WHAT DOES THE REGULATION DO?

It provides a legal framework for the Copernicus programme for 2014-2020, laying down operational rules and establishing its main objectives. Monitoring climate change is one of the six areas for which Copernicus’s services are specifically designed. The others are: land, marine and atmosphere monitoring, emergency response and a security service.

KEY POINTS

  • The climate change service provides information to support adaptation and mitigation policies to adjust to, and reduce the impact of, climate change.
  • It focuses on essential climate variables (ECVs), or indicators, such as temperature increases, sea level rise, ice-sheet melting and ocean warming.
  • It uses climate indices - based on temperature, precipitation and drought records - to identify climate drivers, model climate change scenarios and assess the impact on society.
  • The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, under a November 2014 agreement with the Commission, implements the service.
  • It is due to reach operational capacity 3 years after the start of its activities.

WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

From 1 January 2014.

BACKGROUND

The data Copernicus provides are used by policymakers and public authorities to develop environmental legislation and policies and to react to natural disasters and humanitarian crises. The findings are freely available, opening the door to business opportunities for European companies, especially SMEs.

For more information, see:

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EU) No 377/2014

1.1.2014

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OJ L 122, 24.4.2014, pp. 44-66

last update 23.04.2015

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