Copernicus Confirms Earth's Warmest Year on Record and Opens Up Big Data to Help Economies Adapt

READING, England, November 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

- New Copernicus data confirms 12 month period to end October 2015 warmest on
- Big data to help economies adapt to our changing climate and kick start climate data

New global temperature data published today by the EU's Copernicus programme shows that that the 12 month period to the end of October was the warmest on record. The monthly snapshot from the EU's Earth monitoring programme is the last before the world convenes in Paris at COP21 to seek a global climate agreement.

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Alongside this, the potential for 'big data' to help industries such as energy and water adapt to the Earth's changing environment was today the subject of a high level pre-COP21 panel discussion including the UK's Special Representative on Climate Change Sir David King. The event was convened in London's Tech City by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).

The Copernicus programme, which ECMWF is helping deliver, is the first integrated network of its kind. Utilising the EU's Sentinel satellite network, thousands of land and marine based sensors, millions of readings every hour and a century long archive of data, it will generate the most up to date view of the global environment and predict future changes on timescales of just a few days to decades in advance.

Copernicus is already assisting the International Panel on Climate Change to assess the risks associated with climate change, and has the potential to fundamentally change the way we interact with our atmosphere and climate. The huge volume of data on the Earth's atmosphere and climate that underpins the programme is now being put, free of charge, into the hands of governments, industries, data innovators and the public.

Copernicus' ability to harvest and interpret data will transform the certainty with which governments and industrial sectors such as energy and water take decisions, and has the potential to change our day to day relationship with the atmosphere and climate though new products and services.

For the energy sector, the programme will:

- Help identify the most profitable and sustainable sites for wind farms,
hydro-electric dams and solar panels.
- Enable risk assessments to manage the impact of wind, waves and dust on energy
- Allow assessment of the potential yield of renewable technology to help countries
manage electricity supply and plan grid connections.

For the water sector, Copernicus could:

- Identify areas most at risk of drought or flooding to protect property,
infrastructure and ensure security of supply.
- Allow policy makers to assess the potential impact of ice melt on low-lying coastal
- Enable the strategic planning of water intensive industries such as agriculture.

New products and service could include

- Applications to help commuters choose the least polluted cycle route to work.
- The ability to predict the future risk of flooding when choosing a home.

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