Many benefits of the Copernicus programme for meteorological system


  • Karla Juničić



Over the past years, Croatia had faced climate changes that have had catastrophic consequences on nature and quality of life. One of the key tools for early detection and preparation for such extreme conditions is the Copernicus program, presented on Tuesday’s conference in cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy and the National Hydrometeorological Institute (DHMZ).

Initiated in 1998, Copernicus is the European system for monitoring the Earth, coordinated and managed by the European Commission. The observation program that provides accurate, timely, easily accessible information can be used to improve environmental management, understanding and mitigating the consequences of climate change and security.

Copernicus will 'ensure its citizens to be prepared and protected for security risks (...) and provide access to past, present and future climate information', said Jean Noel Thépaut, director of Copernicus Climate Change Service in ECMWF.

ECMWF (European Center for Medium Term Weather Forecasts), an independent intergovernmental organization that produces numerous weather forecasts for its Member State is responsible for implementation of Copernicus atmospheric monitoring services (CAMS) and climate change (C3S).

While operating in 6 thematic services, land, sea, atmosphere, climate change, crisis management and security, the idea of the program is to unify satellite and sensor observations on the Earth's surface, or simply put, program is an insight into the "health of the Earth" at any time.

The Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS) offers support to scientists, public authorities, and businesses by providing quality information on the Earth's atmosphere, especially the traces of air pollution. Using satellite imagery, it can predict before any local system meteorological conditions.

Copernicus can prepare us in advance in response to emergency and it is 'complementary service to add value not to substitue local system , said Christel Prudhomme, a researcher for Copernicus Emergency Management Service, ECMWF.

The whole system of collecting data is using latest technologies and a complex set of systems which collects data from multiple sources such as satellites and in situ sensors.

The seven satellites Sentinel are beneficial in the whole project. 'Observations are essential', pointed out Vincent-Henri Peuch,director of Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, and 'there is very nice image provided from space.

With the purpose of becoming a mainstream source of information for everybody, different programs and services have been created in many European countries using data obtained. The Copernicus program offers a wide range of applications such as environmental protection, rural development and agriculture, energy development, health, tourism, transport, urban and regional planning, climate change, sea level monitoring, civil protection, emergency management.

-For the whole system to evolve a contact dialoge from users is needed- said Thomas Popp from German Aerospace Center Deutsches (DLR - Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt).

Currently in Croatia number of users of Copernicus data is rather low so it is a big opportunity for collaboration and education.

- Products and services can be very useful for many different reasons- said Sonja Vidič,  ,a Croatian expert in possibilities of use of Copernicus data in Croatia. This data can improve our own products, and 'generally it is very positive' , stressing out that Croatia can have a great benefit of it in the age where climate change have become apparent.

- Extreme weather climate change became global reality that no one can't escape- said Branka Ivančan-Picek, the head of DHMZ, remembering the floods and extreme temperatures that Croatia faced in recent years.

Last year DMHZ started two projects with the goal of modernization and optimization of monitoring meteorological system and Picek announced it will be 'a big step for our meteorological system in Croatia'. Being a full member of ECMWF is important as it is the main source of meteorological and climate prediction for Croatia.