ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI)

ESA’s Climate Change Initiative (CCI) consists of fourteen projects geared to producing data on Essential Climate Variables – physical, chemical and biological characteristics that contribute to the Earth’s climate – plus a dedicated climate modelling project, a comprehensive data portal, a toolbox to facilitate product analysis, and a visualization tool to support outreach.

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CPOM is involved in two CCI:

Antarctic CCI

Led by CPOM, the Antarctic CCI aims to produce long term and reliable climate satellite data records. This will improve understanding of present day changes on the Antarctic Ice Sheet and provide data for models at a higher spatial and temporal resolution than is currently available, thereby improving estimates of future change.  In particularThe project will produce, validate and deliver surface elevation change, ice velocity, grounding line and gravimetry mass balance data sets derived from satellite observations, to the scientific community.  Partners include ESA, DLR, MSSL, ENVEO, University of Dresden, Technical University of Munich, BAS, DTU, and Science and Technology Norway.

As well as directing the overall science strategy and publication outputs from the project, CPOM is lead science team responsible for the surface elevation change EO data product, which the UCL MSSL team also contribute to. In addition to this we are responsible for coordinating Task 1 which includes defining the requirements baseline, the input EO data set availability and output product specification, and Task 5 where we work with a group of independent ice sheet modellers and climate experts to assess and report on the quality of the satellite products developed each year.

Greenland CCI

The Greenland CCI aims to maximize the impact of ESA satellite data on climate research by analysing data from missions such as ERS, Envisat, CryoSat, GRACE and the new Sentinels.  The project will produce data products on surface elevation change, ice velocity, calving front location, grounding line location and gravimetry mass balance, all of which are important in characterising the Greenland Ice Sheet as an Essential Climate Variable.

The CCI data will be supplemented with data from missions such as Landsat and ICESat in order to provide consistent, long term time series. Together with melt extent data from satellite microwave observations, the CCI Greenland Ice Sheet data sets will improve the monitoring of the most rapidly changing ice sheet on the planet.  CPOM will be contributing to the surface elevation change product algorithm development.