August 24, 2016


The Copernicus programme is structured around services covering global to regional scales in six thematic domains:

  • The atmosphere monitoring service, which is to provide information on air quality on a European scale, and the chemical composition of the atmosphere on a global scale. It shall in particular provide information for air quality monitoring systems run at the local to national scales, and contribute to the monitoring of atmospheric composition climate variables, including, where feasible, the interaction with forest canopies.
    The MACC2 pre-operational service (and soon MACC3), coordinated by the ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts), produces every day analyses and global forecasts up to 5 days of the 3D composition of the atmosphere, in gas components and aerosols, as well as the computation of different fluxes. This information is based on satellite and in-situ observations, an estimate of emissions and weather and atmospheric chemistry model forecasts. Re-analyses are also conducted. In addition, a regional part of the service exploits in an optimum way the results of an ensemble of air quality models over the European continent.
  • The marine environment monitoring service, which is to provide information on the state and dynamics of physical ocean and marine ecosystems for the global ocean and the European regional marine areas, in support of marine safety, contribution to monitoring of waste flows, marine environmental, coastal and polar regions, and of marine resources as well as meteorological forecasting and climate monitoring.
    With satellite and in-situ observations and with the NEMO ocean digital model, the pre-operational MyOcean2 service, coordinated by Mercator-Ocean, produces weekly or daily analyses and forecasts of the physical state of the ocean in three dimensions (temperature, salinity, currents) and in surface (temperature, seal level, ice cover) as well as analyses of some bio-geochemical characteristics of the surface (ocean colour, chlorophyll concentration), for the global ocean (resolution = 1/12th degree) and the European seas (resolution of a few kilometres at 1/9th degree). Some re-analyses are also performed over the period 1993-2011.
  • The land monitoring service, which is to provide information on land use and land cover, cryosphere, climate change and bio-geophysical variables, including their dynamics, in support of the global-to-local environmental monitoring of biodiversity, soil, inland and coastal waters, forests and vegetation, and natural resources, as well as implementation in general of environment, agriculture, development, energy, urban planning, infrastructure and transport policies.
    This service is constituted of three components: the Pan-European component comprising the Corine Land-Cover classification (every 6 years approximately) and 5 high-resolution layers (20 m) over all Europe (every 3 years), the local component (every 3 years) comprising an urban atlas over 600 urban areas and a monitoring of riparian areas, and the global component regularly retrieving, every 10 days, bio-geophysical variables over all the land surfaces of the Earth. The service is coordinated by the European Environment Agency for the Pan-European and local components, and by the Joint Research Centrer for the global component.
  • The climate change service, which is to provide information to increase the knowledge base to support adaptation and mitigation policies. It shall in particular contribute to the provision of Essential Climate Variables, climate analyses, projections and indicators at temporal and spatial scales relevant to adaptation and mitigation strategies for the various Union's sectoral and societal benefit areas.
    Several preparatory projects are funded by the 7th PCRD. They concern global re-analyses of the 20th century, a set of regional re-analyses, monitoring and quality assessment for multi-decadal essential climate variables (ECVs), the access to observed and forecasted climate data as well as to a toolbox of indicators, and products about the attribution of climate changes (study of their causes). The service will eventually be coordinated by the ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts).
  • The emergency management service, which is to provide information for emergency response in relation to different types of disasters, including meteorological hazards, geophysical hazards, deliberate and accidental man-made disasters and other humanitarian disasters, as well as the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery activities.
    The service is coordinated by the Joint Research Centre. The first priority is to supply  in rush mode maps of hazards and damages during crisis, based on satellite imagery for natural disasters (flooding, storms and cyclones, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, rock falls and landslides, etc.) or industrial disasters. The service is triggered on demand from authorized users involved in the coordination of the rescues (civil security authorities, DG ECHO, NGOs, etc.). It can also supply, outside the crisis phase and on demand, other mapping products with less stringent timeliness (prevention or post-crisis management).
    Meanwhile, EFAS (European Flood Awareness System), a medium term flood risk forecasting system, was integrated to the emergency management service. It is based on precipitation forecasts coupled with a hydrological model. Its forecast bulletins are for national hydrological services responsible for the alerts.
  • The security service, which is to provide information in support of the civil security challenges of Europe improving crisis prevention, preparedness and response capacities, in particular for border and maritime surveillance, but also support for the Union's external action, without prejudice to cooperation arrangements which may be concluded between the Commission and various Common Foreign and Security Policy bodies, in particular the European Union Satellite Centre.
    The service will be coordinated by the European Maritime Surveillance Agency (EMSA) for the maritime security component, by FRONTEX for the border monitoring component and by the European Union Satellite Centre (EUSC) for the support to European Union external action component.