Climate change, as a complex and global issue, requires both refined and global monitoring capabilities.
Satellites have proven to be instrumental to effectively and systematically characterize the changes in climate. Monitoring climate happens at several scales, from local to global, and allows for a better understanding of its causes and consequences. The resulting insights lead to better decisions by policymakers at local, regional, national, and global levels.
These same technologies can also inform on the actual impact of mitigation efforts on the causes of climate change and assess the effectiveness of those measures.
What satellites can do for monitoring:
There are plenty of commercial and governmental satellites providing climate-related data. Satellite observations provide high spatial resolution and spatio-temporal coverage, and they provide significant contributions to about 60% of the 54 Essential Climate Variables (ECVs). The ECVs, specified by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), are key global and standardized indicators describing Earth's changing climate, in terms of physical, chemical, and biological characterization.