Workshops on use of Satellite Data for Climate Services

With our partner, Statistics for Sustainable Development (Stats4SD), IDEMS supports the delivery of workshops organised by EUMETSAT on ‘The use of gridded satellite data for climatic services’.

Vast amounts of satellite data are now freely available through EUMETSAT which could have direct impact on the climate services that Met Services and other organisations could provide. The data available includes estimates of radiation, sunshine hours, land surface temperature, vegetation cover and many more parameters.

Stats4SD and IDEMS support EUMETSAT in these workshops by introducing R-Instat to participants as a way of easily importing satellite data (NetCDF files) as well as ground station data (in various formats) to facilitate comparisons of satellite and ground truth data, and many other facilities. We also support participants in the use of R and in particular the CM SAF R Toolbox which is tailored for such data.

So far IDEMS has been involved in two workshops in Africa (South Africa 2017 & 2018) and one in Europe (Latvia 2018) with further European and African workshops planned for 2019 and beyond.

We are excited about this collaboration with EUMETSAT particularly because of the potential role satellite data has to play in Africa where ground measurements are often sparse and of poor quality (many missing values). If estimates from satellites prove to be accurate enough in comparison with ground measurements then suddenly a vast amount of data is available across the whole continent at high resolution for over 30 years. This could be used to provide better estimates of the climate in places which are far from a ground station or help to fill in gaps in ground station data to make records more complete as well as many other applications.