The goal of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) is to provide access to climate indicators, indexes and models to develop scenarios-based adaptation and mitigation measures. The Climate Data Store (CDS), launched on 14 June, simplifies the process of sharing authoritative climate data. At the heart of C3S, the newly released CDS will provide users with a single and centralized point-of-access to climate data from around the world.
The Climate Data Store (CDS) is a free and open, cloud-based source for climate data. As a one-stop-shop, it provides information about past, present and future climate. Easier access to this information will improve society’s ability to use Earth Observation data to better understand our changing climate and to better prepare mitigation and adaption measures.
Developed by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) which is implemented by the European Centre for Medium Range-Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) , it is a portal based on open source technologies. It offers centralized access to various sources of existing data, such as climate indicators, climate models, reprocessed climate data records, and in situ observations.
Free and open data for all users
Climate scientists and researchers now have easy, consolidated access to climate data. The efficiency with which they may access various data sources is increased as the store pools together several databases in one place. Moreover, all this information is linked to reliable climate indicators, allowing experts to analyze detailed information.
The CDS is not only for experts. You do not need a background in climate research to explore the most comprehensive store of global climate data. At a basic level, you may use the search tool to extract specific information. Alternatively, you may browse the help section and learn how to use the breadth of CDS tools.
Non-experts such as policymakers now have a simple tool to give them straightforward information on the topic of their choosing. They may explore climate trends over time and compare data from around the world, including their areas of jurisdiction. For policymakers, the CDS brings the complexity of climate research down to a practical level where information can be managed and leveraged for decision making.
Furthermore, the CDS is available to businesses and for climate-related applications. The streamlining of global climate data and information makes it easier for business managers to focus on their product. The new infrastructure and its ease-of-use allow the development of innovative ways to present climate data.
Regarding the building of applications around this free and open data, one consortium is already featuring the CDS’s pool of data. As a joint effort between ECMWF, EUMETSAT and Mercator Ocean, CDS data will be available inside the WEkEO DIAS (Data and Information Access Service). WEkEO, one of the five DIAS launched by the European Commission, is an access point for all Copernicus data and information. Ultimately, such expansion of climate applications will further extend the user base for the CDS and the Copernicus programme.
User-friendly access to climate data from around the world
The design of the CDS has been developed with ease of use in mind and crafted in response to requirements from climate data users across the globe. Several institutions, including the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the CORE-CLIMAX FP7 project consortium, conducted surveys to assess user requirements in terms of quality and availability of climate data. Additionally, a workshop was held at ECMWF in March of 2015 to gather feedback on how the CDS should operate and what functions should be included.
As a result of this feedback, the user-friendliness of the CDS has been the overarching design feature, along with the provision of detailed and easy understandable user guides. Whatever the technical knowledge, the CDS provides users with the tools they need to appropriately process data for their own purposes.