Topic 1d - The importance of EO in climate policy and planning

This video explains why Earth observation is essential in climate policy and planning and will outline the key ways in which it is helping to inform effective climate decision-making.

We need globally consistent, regularly updated, trustable methods of assessment in order to understand and monitor the environmental changes that are occurring on our planet, including those related to climate change. Comprehensive, long-term, EO measurements made by Earth orbiting satellites using appropriate remote sensing instruments allow us to monitor a wide range of parameters about the Earth system, regularly and repeatedly over many years, and even decades.

EO data contributes to the overall evidence required to understand both current and future changes in the Earth system, and to put these in the context of historical changes. Satellite EO can, for example, detect alterations in the cryosphere and monitor trends in the Earth’s forest cover. A carefully coordinated programme of long-term Earth observations, often combined with other information from ground-measurements and instruments on aircraft, ships, and towers, enable us to further our understanding of the mechanisms and effects of climate change, and to establish, improve and evaluate the mathematical models we use to make predictions about the future.

Understanding past and present changes in the climate system using these approaches is essential if we are to build up the fundamental scientific information and tools needed to inform climate and environmental policy and planning going forward.

Featured Educators:

  • Professor Alan O’Neill
  • Professor Andrew Shepherd
  • Dr Emily Shuckburgh

Other Featured Experts:

  • Dr Nathalie Pettorelli
  • Dr Kirsten Barrett

Optional Further Reading:

View featured satellites on the satellite tracking app

Don’t forget you can download the video, transcript and take any quizzes available with the links on the right.