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Welcome to the first week of this course

Welcome to the first week of this course
Welcome to the first week of this online course. In this introduction week, we will have a closer look at climate change and satellite observations of the climate. My name is Suhyb Salama and I am an associate professor at the Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation of the University of Twente. For most people climate change seems to be far away, and it’s not always clear how human activities have caused the changes and how these changes may affect us. But since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, it’s a human activities and fossil fuel combustion that have increased the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This increase has caused noticeable global warming.
And nowadays we are observing and experiencing the effect of this global warming on the climate. Climate change is observed in many scales from a global, like sea level rise, and the degradation of water resources to local like extreme rainfall and dry summers. This is climate change, and it is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity in this century. And this week, we will cover a few concepts related to climate change and satellite observations of variables that are essential to describe the climate or, as they are called, Essential Climate Variables. We will start by reviewing the processes that control the climate and the relationships with energy and water cycles.
Then the main causes of climate change will be discussed and you will be introduced to satellite data and how they are used to produce essential climate variables. Finally, you will be able to map and analyze essential climate variables using the open data portal
of the climate change initiative and the analysis toolbox: CATE. At the end of this week, you should be in a good starting position to continue diving into more complex climate processes and data analysis. I hope you will be inspired to learn further and follow the other weeks of this online course.

Welcome to the introduction week of this online course. In this week, you will get to know some highlights of ESA’s Climate Change Initiative contributions to the research of climate change. You will furthermore learn to retrieve, visualise and interpret essential climate variables that are publicly available from the open data portal of the climate change initiative.

This week contains articles, which highlight the importance of a variety of essential climate variables that characterise the climate and capture its interaction with the atmosphere, land and ocean and underline the importance of measuring these ECVs from space.

We hope that this introductory will inspire you to learn further and follow the other weeks of this online course and take further advantage of the work of the Climate Change Initiative Programme.

What will you learn?

After finishing this week, you’ll have a better understanding of the following:

  • Climate and climate change
  • The main cycles controlling the weather and the climate
  • The role of essential climate variables in characterising the climate
  • The role of satellites and the Climate Change Initiative in providing global views of essential climate variables

During this introductory part we’ll cover several topics:

  • Climate and climate change
  • Main cycles controlling weather and climate
  • Essential climate variables
  • Climate Analysis Toolbox for ESA (CATE) for visualising and manipulating satellite-derived essential climate variables

We encourage you to exchange your thoughts, ideas, and problems you encounter on the forum and hope you’ll learn a lot.

Up next

In the following discussion, you will have the opportunity to introduce yourself and reflect on the climate in your region.

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Understanding Climate Change using Satellite Data

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