Global Space Conference on Climate Change to highlight value of Copernicus Sentinels

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Global Space Conference on Climate Change to highlight value of Copernicus Sentinels

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Global Space Conference on Climate Change

Experts from the Earth observation community are set to discuss and promote the contribution of space to climate action, at the first Global Space Conference on Climate Change (GLOC).

Taking place between 23 – 25 May in Oslo, Norway, GLOC 23 aims to contribute to the global efforts to better understand and battle climate change, through the use of space-based services and applications.

The essential role of the Copernicus Earth Observation Programme in supporting studies of climate change is highlighted in a series of plenary and technical sessions at GLOC.

In one of the interactive presentations, ESA’s Giancarlo Filippazzo will provide an overview of the enduring success of the Copernicus Earth Observation Programme, tracing its origins from the Global Monitoring for the Environment and Security (GMES) Programme to the successful user-driven, autonomous provider of reliable Earth observation (EO) data, that it is today.

Filippazzo aims to illustrate how the cooperation model of the Copernicus programme - securing funding from multiple partners - has allowed the programme to thrive and accelerate an expansion of the Sentinel data user community. The long-lasting success of the programme has led to many positive impacts on the environment, providing the foundation for numerous research studies in climate change.

ESA’s data access service provides free and open access to Sentinel data products to a range of users. However, with the recent, rapid expansion of the data user community, ESA is phasing out the Copernicus Open Access Hub and transitioning to its new Copernicus Data Space ecosystem.

In one of the GLOC technical sessions, CloudFerro present their perspective of this data access evolution, as a provider of cloud computing infrastructures and large EO data repositories.

Before long, the user community will have access to ten years of Sentinel data and this decadal perspective is anticipated to empower climate change research. One key aspect is how data are collected, effectively processed and shared, which is where large EO data repositories will come to the fore, according to CloudFerro.

The presentation will also touch on one of the implementing entities of ESA’s Destination Earth Core Service Platform (DESP) – Eumetsat’s Data Lake (DEDL) – which stores data from DESP and complementary sources, while providing data retrieval and access services.

DestinE Data Lake

DEDL aims to support near-data processing, thus enabling service scalability and implementation of big data distributed workflows.

At GLOC there are also several technical sessions highlighting the success of Sentinel data in climate related research. One session presented by the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), in the UK, will outline how state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms applied to Copernicus Sentinel data can provide intelligence on predicting urban heat islands.

The research also shows how to simulate the effect of proposed green urban areas, thus helping to effectively plan the location of green areas in urban settlements to best reduce urban temperatures.

AI is also indispensable in research to be showcased by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), linking Antarctic supraglacial meltwater dynamics to climate change.

The research team have developed a novel framework for automated supraglacial lake identification in Sentinel-1 SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) and optical Sentinel-2 satellite data. The method exploits cutting edge AI methods and big data processing.

The outcome of the study contributes to an improved understanding of climate change impacts on Antarctic surface melting and highlights the pressing need for improved monitoring efforts over the global ice sheets.

The GLOC conference is the first of its kind, run by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). It is shaping up to be a key forum for raising awareness for the pivotal role of space in empowering climate action. See you in Oslo!