This video explains why Earth observation is essential in climate policy and planning and will outline the key ways in which it is helping to inform effective climate decision-making. (Subtitles and transcripts for this video are also available in Spanish and Chinese. Just click on the small pink square in the video controls to select your preferred language, or download transcripts from the bottom of this page).
We need globally consistent, regularly updated, trustable methods of assessment in order to understand and monitor the environmental changes that are occurring on our planet, including those related to climate change. Comprehensive, long-term, EO measurements made by Earth orbiting satellites using appropriate remote sensing instruments allow us to monitor a wide range of parameters about the Earth system, regularly and repeatedly over many years, and even decades.
EO data contributes to the overall evidence required to understand both current and future changes in the Earth system, and to put these in the context of historical changes. Satellite EO can, for example, detect alterations in the cryosphere and monitor trends in the Earth’s forest cover. A carefully coordinated programme of long-term Earth observations, often combined with other information from ground-measurements and instruments on aircraft, ships, and towers, enable us to further our understanding of the mechanisms and effects of climate change, and to establish, improve and evaluate the mathematical models we use to make predictions about the future.
Understanding past and present changes in the climate system using these approaches is essential if we are to build up the fundamental scientific information and tools needed to inform climate and environmental policy and planning going forward.Featured Educators:
Other Featured Experts:
- Professor Alan O’Neill
- Professor Andrew Shepherd
- Dr Emily Shuckburgh
Optional Further Reading:
- Dr Nathalie Pettorelli
- Dr Kirsten Barrett
If you want to explore this topic further, please take a look at the ‘See Also’ link below. Click ‘back’ on your browser to return to the course.Explore the Imagery, Data and Satellites:
You can explore the imagery, data and EO satellite missions from this topic more fully using the links and downloads on the next step.