Ice plays a crucial role in regulating climate

A global challenge

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ESA / Applications / Observing the Earth / Space for our climate

The rate at which global climate change is happening is arguably the most pressing environmental challenge we face today. 

The consequences of a warming climate are far-reaching, potentially affecting fresh water resources, global food production and sea level, and triggering an increase in extreme-weather events.

Threatening radical impacts on the natural environment and life on Earth for generations to come, climate change is high on political, strategic and economic agendas worldwide.

Earth’s climate has always varied naturally, so separating natural variability from changes induced by human activity is important for confronting today’s challenges. Datasets provided by satellites observing Earth are crucial for measuring key parameters of climate change: ‘Essential Climate Variables’.

Using satellites to observe Earth is the only way of providing the scientific community with the data they need to improve our understanding of the Earth system and help predict future change. In turn, these data also form the basis for policy-makers to build the most effective strategies for adapting to and mitigating the effects of a changing climate.

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