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Last Update: 2018-09-06 Source: Research Headlines
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Reliable climate data to support research
An EU-funded project is bringing insights from metrology - measurement science - to bear on observation of the Earth's climate from space. This could improve understanding of the climate and help predict changes to it, furthering European efforts in this field.
© itestro #11704751, 2018 fotolia.com
Fundamental climate data records (FCDRs) are long-term sensor records that have been improved and checked over time. They provide underlying datasets from which climate data records (CDRs) - which deal with geophysical aspects of climate - are generated.
Using metrology-based approaches and satellite climate data covering periods of over 20 years, the EU-funded FIDUCEO project has developed new versions of four FCDRs, each relating to a different Earth observation instrument.
As no observation is ever perfectly accurate, the FCDRs include traceable information for estimating the stability of the datasets, or their accuracy over time, and taking account of any uncertainties. This level of rigour, which is supported by the creation of accompanying software analysis tools, helps ensure their wide-ranging scientific utility.
Based on information from the FCDRs, FIDUCEO has generated five CDRs. They relate to humidity in the upper part of the lowest layer of the Earth's atmosphere; sea surface temperature; lake surface temperature; the amount of solar radiation received by the Earth that it reflects back; and the degree to which aerosols - solids or liquids suspended in the air, such as dust or fog - prevent transmission of light.
Like the FCDRs, the CDRs include uncertainty and stability information and are expected to provide a basis for further understanding and predicting changes to climate.
All project data, software and methods are openly accessible. Dissemination efforts include creation of e-learning modules, liaison with other relevant programmes and the organisation of workshops.