The International Ocean Colour Science meeting advances new capabilities for global ocean colour observations in the Copernicus era

Monday, 15 May 2017

Thumbnail - Press Release - 20170515 - IOCS Lisbon

Under the theme “Exploring new capabilities for global ocean colour observations”, the ocean colour science community and space agencies will discuss the emerging applications and first scientific results of ocean colour observations delivered by the new Copernicus Sentinel-3A and -2A satellites respectively operated by EUMETSAT and ESA on behalf of the European Union in support to Copernicus, the European Earth Observation programme.

In particular the Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) on board the Sentinel-3A satellite allows for tailored applications. Phenomena like harmful algae blooms and changes in marine ecosystems can now be monitored on an operational basis and on a global scale from space, creating new opportunities for the management of marine resources, fisheries and for understanding and quantifying the role of the ocean in the carbon cycle in our changing climate.

A dedicated Copernicus session will showcase the benefits of the new European ocean colour data streams available from Sentinel missions and the information services delivered by the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS).

Ewa Kwiatkowska, ocean colour scientist at EUMETSAT said: “Since we took over operations of the Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite on behalf of the EU, ocean colour has been added to our portfolio of ocean products and we now offer a full real-time ocean data service integrating products from EUMETSAT, Copernicus and international partners’ missions”.

To stimulate user uptake, EUMETSAT will organise a one-day training workshop on 19 May on how to access and explore the Copernicus and other marine data Streams provided by EUMETSAT.


The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 30 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and one Cooperating State (Serbia).

EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-9, -10 and -11 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-8 over the Indian Ocean.

EUMETSAT also operates two Metop polar-orbiting satellites as part of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) shared with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

EUMETSAT is also a partner in the cooperative high precision ocean altimetry Jason missions involving Europe and the United States (Jason-2, Jason-3 and Jason-CS/Sentinel-6).

The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites are vital to weather forecasting and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of environment and climate change.

The European Union has entrusted EUMETSAT with exploiting the four Sentinel missions of the Copernicus space component dedicated to the monitoring of atmosphere, ocean and climate on its behalf. EUMETSAT will carry out these tasks in cooperation with ESA.

EUMETSAT has established cooperation with operators of Earth Observation satellites from Europe and China, India, Japan, Russia and the United States.

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