ceos   eesa
Our Changing Climate
Signs of Climate Change
Causes of Climatic Change
Future Climate Trends and Impacts
The Economics of Climate Change
Global Environmental Decision-making
Observations and Science Informing Policy
  The Important Role of Earth observations  
Future Challenges

Just as science and technology have given us the evidence to measure the danger of climate change, so they can help us find safety from it. Earth System science is the key to implementing any approach towards good planetary management – providing us with the necessary insights into the feasibility, risks, trade-offs and timeliness of any strategy considered.

The nature of climate change issues presents special challenges in terms of the need for global information and data on key planetary indicators which can provide the information required for governments and policy makers to make well-informed decisions. Recognising that no single country can satisfy all of the observational requirements that are necessary for monitoring the Earth System, governments are taking steps to harmonise and integrate their observing networks and satellite observing systems to be able to address common problems of global concern.

This document discusses the need for observations of planet Earth and its climate, and highlights the opportunities presented by Earth observation satellite systems to produce information for decision-making. If the best current scientific expertise is correct in predicting the future impacts of human-induced climate change – with the apparent certainty that such changes will accelerate with an expanding human population and economic activity in the coming decades – then such information will become increasingly vital. This will provide an essential foundation for the development of the ethics of global decision-making and strategies for sustainable Earth System management which will define how mankind adapts to the expected global change.

(a) Global annual emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) from 1970 to 2004.
(b) Share of different anthropogenic GHGs in total emissions in 2004 in terms of CO2-equivalent.
(c) Share of different sectors in total anthropogenic GHG emissions in 2004 in terms of CO2-equivalent. (Forestry includes deforestation).
(Credit: IPCC AR4)
Further Information
Stern Review:
World Resources Institute:




©Copyright 2011 CEOS Print CopiesResearched and written by SymbiosDesigned and built by Beaucroft