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for the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).








Copernicus is the European Programme for the establishment of a European capacity for Earth Observation and environmental information.



The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) is one of the six services within Copernicus.

The Copernicus Atmosphere monitoring Services (CAMS) is one of the six services within Copernicus.

The Copernicus programme is coordinated and managed by the European Commission.



The European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) implements the Copernicus Climate Change Service and the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service on behalf of the European Commission.

Copernicus News

OBSERVER: Drought monitoring over Western Europe
OBSERVER: Drought monitoring over Western EuropeCSO Tanya Walker Thu, 17/10/2019 - 10:16

For two consecutive years, in 2018 and 2019, Western Europe was hit by late spring and summer heatwaves. These dry and warm weather conditions triggered severe droughts.

When combined with low precipitation levels and high evapotranspiration, soil water content was much lower than usual in northwestern Europe (Belgium, the Netherlands, the South of England) in 2018, and in parts of France and Spain in 2019. In turn, this had an impact on vegetation growth and greenness.

Combining the Leaf Area Index (LAI), an indicator of vegetation density provided by the Copernicus Global Land service at 300m spatial resolution, with data and models from Meteo-France over western Europe allows us to monitor these extreme events.

Meteo-France’s research centre has developed a global Land Data Assimilation System to monitor droughts. Data from the Copernicus Global Land service are integrated into a soil-plant model driven by atmospheric variables. The satellite-derived observations are used to improve the simulated variables which are indicators of the drought conditions. 

A month by month comparison of LAI and root-zone Soil Moisture (SM) between 2019 and 2018 was conducted.

Compared to April 2018, in April 2019 soil moisture was already lower, especially in the Ebro basin and Estremadura in the Iberian Peninsula.



Figure : Monthly maps, from April to August, of root-zone soil moisture in 2018 (left), 2019 (centre) and the difference 2019-2018 (right)


The impact of these dry soil conditions on vegetation growth increase during the following months, reaching its maximum in July, when the impact of the drought on vegetation is particularly obvious over France, Sardinia and northern Spain.

During July 2018, northern Europe, in particular the south of England, Belgium and the Netherlands, suffered through a similar drought period, which then expanded to Germany in August.


leaf area


Figure: Monthly maps, from April to August, of Leaf Area Index in 2018 (left), 2019 (centre) and the difference 2019-2018 (right)


One of the greatest threats facing Europe in the near future, is an increase in both the frequency and length of drought periods.

Products from the Copernicus Global Land service, such as the Leaf Area Index and the Soil Moisture, play a crucial role in monitoring these extreme events, and allow us to better understand their impact and define the actions that need to be taken to address them.

soil zone moisture

OBSERVER: Registration for the EU Space Week 2019 is now open!
OBSERVER: Registration for the EU Space Week 2019 is now open!CSO Tanya Walker Thu, 10/10/2019 - 12:50

Clear your calendar for the EU Space Week 2019 to explore Europe’s trendsetting space developments! Registration for Europe’s most important space event is now open here.

Entrepreneurs and SMEs, along with business and public sector professionals, using space data from across Europe and around the globe, are prepared to descend on Helsinki, Finland for this year’s edition of EU Space Week  at the Helsinki Congress Paasitorni from 3-5 December 2019. 

The EU Space Week’s objective is to bring together the space community, business leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, start-ups, researchers and digital enthusiasts to discuss the future of space applications and innovation. The event features presentations from high-level personalities, as well as key user communities. Plus, the joint Awards Ceremony for Europe’s major innovation competitions for space downstream applications – the Copernicus Masters and the Galileo Masters - the “Space Oscars”, will present the best business cases live on stage showcasing cutting-edge space applications.



High-level plenary

High-ranking space policy and industry speakers will present first-hand insights into the EU Space Strategy and the most important global space developments. The high-level plenary session will focus on four central topics:

  • How space solutions can help to strengthen the EU’s position as a global leader in climate action
  • New space economy for sustainable growth
  • Sustainable space economy: Saving space for future generations
  • Space solutions for sustainable Arctic


A packed schedule

The EU Space Week 2019 programme offers an exciting constellation of 17 topic-specific events and the opportunity to discover pioneering Galileo and Copernicus applications, interact with the Earth observation (EO) and satellite navigation community, learn from Europe’s most influential space stakeholders and digital leaders, and meet start-ups with promising space-based business solutions.

The programme includes the General Assembly of Copernicus Networks, a Horizon 2020 Space Info Day, accelerator boot camps, investor meet-ups, the festive Awards Ceremony, keynotes, conference sessions, an exhibition and a Hackathon. It provides the perfect setup for a productive exchange of game-changing ideas, future trends and current challenges.

In addition, EU Space Week offers lots of opportunities for networking and interacting with the space community.


Join Europe’s no. 1 space event and 

  • Discover cutting edge Galileo and Copernicus applications
  • Meet award-winning entrepreneurs, start-ups and visionaries
  • Interact with the Earth observation (EO) and satellite navigation community
  • Discuss latest trends with decision makers, innovators and industry leaders
  • Connect with more than 400 like-minded people and expand your network


Don’t miss out on this extraordinary event and register now!

The European Space Week 2019 is free of charge and organised by the European Commission under the auspices of the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU, in partnership with the European GNSS Agency (GSA), European Space Agency (ESA), and AZO Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen.

EMS Information Bulletin n°125 - EMSR388 Flood in the Southeast of Spain
EMS Information Bulletin n°125 - EMSR388 Flood in the Southeast of SpainCSO Tanya Walker Fri, 04/10/2019 - 14:29

On Thursday 11 September and on the following days, the southeast of Spain was heavily affected by torrential rain and flood batters, resulting from an average rainfall of 100 l/m² per day between 11 and 14 September – with peaks at 300l/m² per day – as reported by the Spanish Ministry of Environment. Six fatalities and 3,500 evacuations were reported by ECHO Daily Flash on 16 September. At least six provinces were strongly affected: Valencia, Alicante, Murcia, Albacete, eastern Andalucía, as well as the Balearic Islands. Media sources reported that 1,100 military staff were dispatched to the area to participate in the relief and clean-up operations along with Police, Firemen, Civil Protection and Red Cross personnel. While it is still early to assess the full extent of the damage, the Valencia branch of AEMET, the National Meteorology Service, have estimated the floods to be the worst since 1879. The Vega Baja area, on the banks of the Segura river in the Alicante province, and especially Orihuela, a town of 75,000 residents which was isolated for three consecutive days, were reported to be amongst the hardest-hit areas.

On 12 September the Copernicus EMS Rapid Mapping module was activated by the Centro de Coordinación Operativa (CECOP) de la Dirección General de Protección Civil y Emergencias (Operational Coordination Centre of the Spanish Civil Protection). Only 5 hours and 15 minutes later radar imagery was acquired by a COSMO-SkyMed satellite. This was made possible by satellite pre-tasking, as EFAS (the European Flood Awareness System) had issued an alert on 11 September anticipating a possible activation. Subsequently, a First Estimate Product using this imagery was published in the early hours of 13 September, the morning after activation, for the Ontinyent Area of Interest (AoI). The first delineation product for the same AoI was published on 14 September using Radarsat-2 data acquired on 13 September. It showed an area of 1,612 ha (16.12 km²) affected by floods and estimated 354 people to be affected.

The extent of the flood was also assessed further south, over the surroundings of Murcia city (AoI02). The delineation product was published on 16 September using radar data acquired by a Cosmo-SkyMed satellite and by the Copernicus Sentinel-1B. It showed a total flooded area of 4,263 ha (42.63 km²) and estimated the number of affected people at 4,165.
To assess the degree of damage to urban areas in this AoI, grading products were produced in six additional zones (Dolores, Lorqui, Los Alcazares, Murcia, Orihuela and Santomera). Although no impact was detected on the city of Murcia (AoI04), the assessments on Dolores, Lorqui, Los Alcazares, Orihuela and Santomera showed flooded areas ranging from 0.4 km² (in the town of Lorqui) to 27.15 km² (in the town of Dolores), as well as several buildings, roads and facilities damaged or destroyed.

The maps and vector data are available for viewing and download on the EMS Website: EMSR388: Flood in the Southeast of Spain.

For updates on our activations, follow Copernicus EMS on Twitter. Learn more about the Copernicus Programme and its Emergency Management Service.

ems aem

The activation extent map showing the user-defined AoIs for the products delivered following the floods in Southeast Spain (Copernicus EMS © 2019 EU, [EMSR388: Flood in the Southeast of Spain]).



Delineation map of the surroundings of Murcia, Spain showing 4,263 ha (42.6 km2) of the area flooded on 16 September 2019 at the time of imagery acquisition (Copernicus EMS © 2019 EU, [EMSR388: Murcia: Delineation MONIT01 Product])


gra product

Grading map of Los Alcazares, Alicante Province, Spain showing a flooded area of 36.5 ha (0.3 km2) and 756 ha (7.6 km²) of flood traces on 18 September 2019 at the time of imagery acquisition (Copernicus EMS © 2019 EU, [EMSR388: Los Alcazares Grading Overview Map 01 Product])

Background information on the Copernicus Emergency Management System (EMS)

Copernicus is the European Union Earth Observation and Monitoring Programme.

The Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS) uses satellite imagery and other geospatial data
to provide free of charge mapping service in cases of large natural disasters, human-made emergency
situations and humanitarian crises throughout the world. The maps are produced in two temporal

  • Rapid Mapping consists of the provision of geospatial information in support of emergency management activities immediately following a disaster. Different types of maps are produced, for example, to ascertain the situation before the event (reference maps), to assess the geographical extent of the event (delineation maps) or to evaluate the intensity and scope of the damage resulting from the event (grading maps).
  • Risk & Recovery Mapping consists of the provision of geospatial information in support of disaster management activities that are not related to immediate emergency response but rather to pre-disaster risk assessment or post-disaster recovery monitoring. This applies to activities dealing with prevention, preparedness, disaster risk reduction and recovery phases.
  • First Estimate Product: Upon request by the authorised user, preliminary information on a disaster can be delivered through a First Estimate Product (FEP). The FEP is a new item in the Rapid Mapping product portfolio and has been available since April 2019. It provides an extremely fast (with 2-3 hours from image acquisition), general assessment of the emergency situation within the AoI. The FEP helps to further refine the specific requirements of the requested delineation or grading products as well as to support the coordination of emergency relief actions. In the case of a wildfire, it enables to provide a preliminary idea of the affected perimeter and any hotspots of active fires.

The EMS can be triggered only by or through an Authorised User (AU) . Authorised Users include the National Focal Points (NFPs) of the EU Member States and countries participating in the Copernicus programme, as well as European Commission services and the European External Action Service (EEAS), including the EU Delegations. Beneficiary end users of EMS include entities and organisations at regional, national, European and international level actors in the field of civil protection and humanitarian aid.

Interested Users may trigger the service by sending a Service Request Form ( SRF ) directly to the European Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) : .

The Copernicus EMS also provides Forest Fire ( EFFIS ), Floods ( EFAS ) and Drought ( EDO ) Early Warning products for Europe as well as at global level.

The Copernicus programme

Copernicus, the European Earth Observation and Monitoring Programme, is served by dedicated satellites (the family of Copernicus Sentinels ) and a set of Contributing Missions (additional satellites from existing commercial and national agencies). Since the launch of Sentinel-1A in 2014, the European Union set in motion a process to place a constellation of almost 20 more satellites in orbit before 2030. Today, seven fully operational Sentinel satellites (Sentinel-1A and -B, Sentinel-2A and -B, Sentinel-3A and -B and Sentinel-5P) are in orbit to continually provide operational satellite information. This satellite data is complemented by and validated with in situ data. Six Copernicus Services transform the full, free and open data into value-added information by processing and analysing the data to transform them into services and products such as informative maps, data sets and reports.

These six services are:

  • The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service
  • The Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service
  • The Copernicus Land Monitoring Service
  • The Copernicus Climate Change Service
  • The Copernicus Emergency Management Service
  • The Copernicus Security Service

Copernicus is coordinated and managed by DG GROW in the European Commission . It is implemented in partnership with the EU Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), EU Agencies and Mercator Ocean. The European Commission Joint Research Centre offers the technical support of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service whilst the Emergency Response Coordination Centre of DG ECHO assists civil protection actors with the handling of the EMS mapping requests on a 24/7 basis.

For more information
Copernicus website:
Copernicus Emergency Management Service website:
On Twitter @CopernicusEMS



Copernicus Events

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