Nov 08, 2013

Following the 27th Plenary of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) in Montreal, Canada, on 5-6 November 2013, EUMETSAT has taken over the CEOS chairmanship for the coming year.

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The two main priorities of EUMETSAT’s chairmanship will be the implementation the new governance agreed at the 27th plenary to meet CEOS current and future challenges, and the further development of climate monitoring activities.

EUMETSAT will ensure that CEOS activities are carried out in accordance with the Strategic Guidance, Governance and Processes agreed following a “CEOS self study” performed by NASA over the last two years.

Regarding climate monitoring, EUMETSAT will support the joint Climate Working Group established by the CEOS and the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) to implement the Global Architecture for Climate Monitoring from Space in response to the requirements of the Global Climate Observing System and the WMO programmes.

As part of its CEOS chairmanship EUMETSAT will host the Climate Symposium organised by the World Climate Research Programme in Darmstadt, on 13-17 October 2014. The event will be supported by the European Commission, the World Meteorological Organisation and CEOS and CGMS space agencies. The symposium will broaden the debate on the ability of space data to respond to the scientific challenges identified by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its Fifth Assessment Report by bringing together CEOS and CGMS space agencies and the international science community working on climate change.

The outcome of the symposium will be presented at the 2014 CEOS Plenary meeting hosted by EUMETSAT and the Norwegian Space agency, in Tromsö, Norway, 28-30 October 2014.

EUMETSAT’s involvement in CEOS supports the implementation of the EUMETSAT Strategy, “A global operational satellite agency at the heart of Europe”, approved by the organisation’s Council in June 2011. One of the strategic objectives is “to be an active partner in European and global initiatives of relevance to space-based weather, climate and environmental monitoring”.


Established in 1984, CEOS coordinates civil space-borne observations of the Earth. Participating agencies, including EUMETSAT, strive to enhance international coordination and data exchange and to maximise the societal benefits of their activities.


The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 27 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and four Cooperating States (Bulgaria, Iceland, Lithuania and Serbia).

EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-8, -9 and -10 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-7 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). The Metop-B polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, launched on 17 September 2012, became prime operational satellite on 24 April 2013. It replaced Metop-A, the first European polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, which was launched in October 2006. Metop-A will continue operations as long as its available capacities bring benefits to users.

The Jason-2 ocean altimetry satellite, launched on 20 June 2008 and exploited jointly with NOAA, NASA and CNES, added monitoring of sea state, ocean currents and sea level change to the EUMETSAT product portfolio.

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

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