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GEO 2017-2019 Work Programme


Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S)

Activity ID: 82


The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) combines observations of the climate system with the latest science to develop authoritative, quality-assured information about the past, current and future states of the climate in Europe and worldwide. C3S will provide key indicators on climate change drivers such as carbon dioxide and impacts, for example, reducing glaciers. The aim of these indicators will be to support European adaptation and mitigation policies in a number of sectors.

The service will build upon and complement capabilities existing at national level and being developed through a number of climate-change research initiatives. It will become a major contribution from the European Union to the WMO Global Framework for Climate Services and its Climate Monitoring Architecture.

Specifically, the societal benefits from an operational Climate Change service lie in its capacity to provide information about the impact of climate change and variability on the environment. This will support informed decision-making regarding possible mitigation and adaptation policies, as well as future regulations and investment decisions in a number of key industrial areas. The Climate Change service will capitalise on state-of-the-art Earth observations and climate models, specifically: 1) sustained networks of in-situ and satellite-based observations; 2) re-analysis of the Earth climate with a variety of models driven by observations; 3) modelling scenarios based on a series of climate projections. These three components will allow the derivation of a range of climate indicators for both the identified climate drivers and the expected climate impacts.

Activities for the Period

Activities initiated late 2015 to support development of the proof-of-concept stage of the Service will continue throughout 2016 and 2017. These activities involve a wide user consultation and engagement process across different components of the Service, while setting up and implementing prototype elements and activating some functionalities of the Climate Data Store (CDS) and Sectoral Information System (SIS) building blocks.

2017 will be the year of transition between the proof-of-concept and pre-operational stages, and the plan therefore reflects continuation, consolidation and finalisation of activities initiated during 2016. In addition, a number of new activities will be initiated, in the area of regional reanalyses, observations, additional SIS, etc. The first deliverables and results from the sectoral applications will become available and be integrated in the CDS, as well as some elements related to the production of reanalyses and seasonal forecasts. The coordinated design of the main components of the C3S will be a critical element of the proof-of-concept and preoperational phases of the Service. The year 2016 will be pivotal for testing and validating this design, with the goal in 2017 of implementing well-defined and operational procedures ensuring that the information delivered to end users is fully traceable, quality controlled and disseminated to the satisfaction of users.

User Engagement

Engage with end-users to increase system awareness and understanding. Communicate and promote the Service to different audiences, provide training on how to make use of the wealth of climate information that will be made available through the C3S Climate Data Store (CDS).

Future Plans

Work Development of a distributed Climate Data Store infrastructure, hosting earth observations, reanalyses, seasonal forecasts and climate projections, as well as a toolbox allowing handling and manipulation of these datasets and growing the market for climate services.


All activities under Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) are entirely supported by the Copernicus Programme from DG-GROW.



Members: EC.

Participating Organizations: ECMWF.

Others: Various European suppliers, through competitive Invitation to Tender processes. More information is available on

Linkages across the Work Programme

Initiatives: Earth Observations in Service of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Community Activities: Access to Climate Data in GEOSS.

Leadership & Contributors (this list is being populated)




Implementing Entity



Jean-Noël Thepaut