The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 30 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and one Cooperating State (Serbia). EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-8, -9 and -10 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-7 over the Indian Ocean. EUMETSAT also operates two Metop polar-orbiting satellites as part of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) shared with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Metop-B polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, launched on 17 September 2012, became prime operational satellite on 24 April 2013. It replaced Metop-A, the first European polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, which was launched in October 2006. Metop-A will continue operations as long as its available capacities bring benefits to users. The Jason-2 ocean altimetry satellite, launched on 20 June 2008 and exploited jointly with NOAA, NASA and CNES, added monitoring of sea state, ocean currents and sea level change to the EUMETSAT product portfolio. The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites are vital to weather forecasting and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of environment and the global climate. www.eumetsat.int
WCRP was established in 1980 by the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). In 1993 the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO also became the WCRP Sponsor. The main WCRP objectives are to determine the predictability of climate and to determine the effect of human activities on climate. WCRP promotes the use of climate science for development of increasing range of practical applications of direct relevance, benefit and value to society. It makes strong contribution to the IPCC, leads the development of the Research, Modelling and Prediction component of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), and is mobilizing its community to make a strong contribution to achieving the objectives of the emerging Future Earth Initiative. Several aspects of the climate science that are of major importance to society are still particularly challenging. At present WCRP is developing plans to address the following Grand Challenges:
- Regional Climate Information;
- Clouds, Circulation and Climate Sensitivity;
- Cryosphere in Changing Climate;
- Attribution and Prediction of Climate Extremes;
- Water Availability; and
- Regional Sea Level.
WCRP is composed of four core projects (CliC, CLIVAR, GEWEX and SPARC), working groups and councils, and several cosponsored activities. It is led by the Joint Scientific Committee and is supported by its Secretariat - the Joint Planning Staff.
The European Commission is becoming ever more active in the area of climate change. The Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA) was established in February 2010 to lead international negotiations on climate, to help the EU deal with the consequences of climate change and to meet its targets for 2020, as well as developing and implementing the EU Emissions Trading System. The EU Research and Development framework programme FP7, allocated large resources to studies on climate monitoring and climate change assessment. This R&D work will continue in the coming years in the framework of the follow-on Horizon2020 programme. However, it is the definition and implementation of an operational Climate Change service, as one of the six core services of the Copernicus Earth Observation programme, which provides the immediate motivation for the EC involvement in the 2014 Climate Symposium. The service will give access to information for monitoring and predicting climate change and will, therefore, help to support adaptation and mitigation. It will benefit from a sustained network of in situ and satellite-based observations, re-analysis of the Earth climate and modelling scenarios, based on a variety of climate projections. It will complement, rather than duplicate, the plethora of existing climate monitoring initiatives. The service will provide access to climate indicators (e.g. temperature increase, sea level rise, ice sheet melting, warming of the ocean) and climate indices (e.g. based on records of temperature, precipitation, drought event) for both the identified climate drivers and the expected climate impacts. The Copernicus Climate Change service is still in a development phase, but engagement with users and stakeholders in forums like the Climate Symposium will be vital to ensure that user needs are identified and that operational interfaces with other on-going initiatives are established.
The European Space Agency, ESA, is an intergovernmental organization with 20 member states committed to develop and promote space technology and its application. ESA’s job is to draw up the European space programme and carry it through. ESA’s programmes are designed to find out more about Earth, its immediate space environment, our Solar System and the Universe, as well as to develop satellite-based technologies and services, and to promote European industries.ESA`s Earth Observation Programme plays an essential role in advancing science and ensuring Europe keeps pace with the challenges of a changing world. To improve the understanding of natural Earth processes, this robust programme also harnesses the relationship between science and technology to forge innovative missions that address the most urgent scientific questions of our time. ESA`s Earth Observation Programme fosters research into new methods of using data benefiting society at large. It also lays the foundation for international cooperation for a collaborative approach in understanding and tackling global environmental challenges. www.esa.int
Darmstadt is a “City of Science”. This designation, was lent to the city in 1997 by the Hessian ministry of the Interior, recognising the national and international importance of the city in the areas of science and research. Darmstadt is home to several renowned scientific institutions and research centres including ESA/Esoc - the European Space Operations Centre, EUMETSAT, three Fraunhofer Institutes, and he GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research which performs research in physics and related natural science disciplines. Many elements were discovered here for the first time. Such as “Darmstadtium” element 110 of the periodic table of elements - named after the hometown of GSI. In addition Darmstadt’s globally operating companies including Merck, Software AG, Wella, Goldwell/KPSS, Evonik-Röhm , Schenk-Process or Schenck-Rotec have advanced departments of research and development. The darmstadtium science congresses, the venue for the climate symposium, is in the heart of the town center, and is meeting place for scientists and citizens, for conferences, congresses and cultural events.