Main goal of the symposium

The main goal of the symposium was to provide a forum for discussing the current state of climate science and climate observations in order to evaluate recent achievements, ascertain critical objectives to be achieved with satellite-based climate information, and identify gaps in the current space-based component of the climate observing system. A major topic that was discussed is the proposed Architecture for sustained Climate Monitoring from Space that has been developed under the auspices of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), the Coordination Group of Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) and WMO. Beyond the monitoring of the current state of the Climate System, the conference also considered how Earth observation contributes to future developments in climate prediction and climate change projection. The symposium and the follow-on activities benefited climate-related risk management, and helped to underpin the development of responsible and affordable climate change mitigation and adaptation options. A key aspect was the detection and attribution of climate change beyond the basic variables. The symposium also benefited climate science by putting in motion a process for creating a joint action plan for the planning and development of an enhanced international space-based climate observing system building on existing activities. The plan will be responsive to the current and emerging needs in the areas of climate research, modelling and services (i.e. Global Framework for Climate Services).

Symposium participants

There were nearly 500 participants from about 50 nations world wide, including more than 40 early career scientists and students. The participants were very complementary of the quality of presentations and posters, and the format of the sessions and symposium which provided quality time for detailed discussion of scientific challenges and opportunities ahead. 

Participants included:

  • Climate scientists primarily interested in satellite observations and their use for climate research, modelling and prediction.
  • Experts from space agencies engaged in the development of climate missions, and the development and provision of corresponding data and information services.
  • Private sector, non-governmental organisations, and organisations that are involved in the development of Earth observing and information systems, and / or dependent on science-based climate information for decision-making.


Key themes for discussion during the conference were:

  • Clouds, circulation and climate sensitivity
  • The changing water cycle
  • Cryosphere in a warming world
  • Ocean circulation and regional sea level rise
  • Prediction and attribution of extremes: from climate to weather
  • Regional climate variability and change: enabling climate services
Organised by:
With the support of:
European Commission ESA
In cooperation with:
City Darmstadt
Other Sponsors: