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Terrestrial essential climate variables (ECVs) at a glance

March 26, 2011

The Global Terrestrial Observing System, Global Climate Observing System, World Meteorological Organization, and Committee on Earth Observation Satellites all support consistent global land observations and measurements. To accomplish this goal, the Global Terrestrial Observing System defined 'essential climate variables' as measurements of atmosphere, oceans, and land that are technically and economically feasible for systematic observation and that are needed to meet the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and requirements of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The following are the climate variables defined by the Global Terrestrial Observing System that relate to terrestrial measurements. Several of them are currently measured most appropriately by in-place observations, whereas others are suitable for measurement by remote sensing technologies. The U.S. Geological Survey is the steward of the Landsat archive, satellite imagery collected from 1972 to the present, that provides a potential basis for deriving long-term, global-scale, accurate, timely and consistent measurements of many of these essential climate variables.

Publication Year 2011
Title Terrestrial essential climate variables (ECVs) at a glance
DOI 10.3133/sim3155
Authors Susan Stitt, John Dwyer, Dennis Dye, Edward Josberger
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Map
Series Number 3155
Index ID sim3155
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center; Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center