By harnessing climate knowledge and technical capabilities from across ESA Member States, the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) has supported R&D to deliver high quality pre-operational data records of Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) to support the UNFCCC. More than 160 open access climate data records are now free and openly available to Users.

In its contribution to climate and Earth system science, CCI projects have published over 640 peer-reviewed research papers. This body of work supports the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) headline statements on climate in both its 5th Assessment Report and Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. In the former, 28 contributing authors were directly related to CCI with 15 papers cited 60 times. In the latter, more than 50 cited papers were directly connected to CCI.

The Climate Office works closely with EUMETSAT and operational climate services, in particular the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), to ensure coordination and complementarity. The processing systems and algorithms for 13 of the 23 ECV projects developed by CCI have been transferred to C3S for operational data provision, and the ESA Climate Office has partnered with C3S for joint data standards for ECVs.


The scientific evidence that the world is warming is unequivocal. The ECVs developed by the CCI have, and continue to provide crucial lines of evidence detailing the evolution of the climate from rising atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, loss of ice from the polar ice sheets, the world's glaciers and sea level rise.

To explore the evidence from space of climate change, visit the Evidence section of this site.