The CEOS Handbook explores society’s increasing need for information on our planet, the essential foundation for sustainable development policies that are aimed at ensuring our continued health and prosperity in the face of human-made
climate change, population growth, and degradation of our natural environment.
It explains the important role of Earth observation satellite programmes in fulfilling these information needs. It presents the current status and plans for future Earth observation satellite programmes of governments worldwide, through their national and regional space agencies, and describes how the data and information which they supply relate to some of society’s most pressing needs for information on Earth System processes and our interaction with them.
The role of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), the body with responsibility for coordination of government-funded satellite programmes worldwide, is explained, including its relation to the various global observing systems, in
particular the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).
It is hoped that this report will prove to be a valuable source of information concerning the possible application and value of the data and information from Earth observation satellites. It should be of interest to a wide range of groups: those with responsibility for national/international development policy; those responsible for programmes with requirements for observations to enable understanding of our environment and its processes; and those needing information for decision-making in many socio-economic sectors.
The information required to detect, predict, adapt to and mitigate climate change is a particular focus in this edition.
It is further hoped that this report will be of educational value, helping to explain some of the techniques and technologies underlying satellite Earth observation and making the subject as accessible as possible to the lay person who would like to investigate further.