The work of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are supported by the Essential Climate Variables (ECV). All ECV are designed to be technically and economically viable for systematic observation. International exchanges are required to fulfil databases with present and historical observations. There are 54 ECVs currently defined.
Supporting this international effort, a substantial number of OLCI products include some ECVs (as shown in the following table).
|[Atmospheric Surface] Surface Radiation budget||Photosynthetically available radiation|
|[Atmospheric Upper Air] Water Vapour||Integrated water vapour column|
|[Atmospheric Composition] Aerosols properties||Aerosol optical thickness
Aerosol Angstrom exponent
|[Oceanic] Ocean Colour||Water leaving reflectances|
|[Oceanic] Phytoplankton||Algal pigment concentration|
|[Terrestrial] Albedo||Rectified reflectances|
|[Terrestrial] Land cover||Rectified reflectances|
|[Terrestrial] FAPAR||OLCI global vegetation index|
|[Terrestrial] Over ground biomass||OLCI terrestrial chlorophyll index|
ESA's Climate Change Initiative (CCI) comprises 23 parallel R&D projects generating ECVs across the land, atmosphere and ocean. Its global, consistent climate data records span several decades, have fully characterised uncertainties, and are available from the Open Data Portal.
For further information about climate applications and services available, see the Copernicus website.