Towards a Traceable Climate Service: Assessment of Quality and Usability of Essential Climate Variables

Yijian Zeng, Zohngbo Su, Iakovos Barmpadimos, Adriaan Perrels, Paul Poli, Folkert Boersma, Anna Frey, Xiaogang Ma, Karianne de Bruin, Hasse Goosen, Viju O. John, Rob Roebeling, Jörg Schulz, W.J. Timmermans

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Climate services are becoming the backbone to translate climate knowledge, data & information into climate-informed decision-making at all levels, from public administrations to business operators. It is essential to assess the technical and scientific quality of the provided climate data and information products, including their value to users, to establish the relation of trust between providers of climate data and information and various downstream users. The climate data and information products (i.e., from satellite, in-situ and reanalysis) shall be fully traceable, adequately documented and uncertainty quantified and can provide sucient guidance for users to address their specific needs and feedbacks. This paper discusses details on how to apply the quality assurance framework to deliver timely assessments of the quality and usability of Essential Climate Variable (ECV) products. It identifies an overarching structure for the quality assessment of single product ECVs (i.e., consists of only one single variable), multi-product ECVs (i.e., more than one single parameter), thematic products (i.e., water, energy and carbon cycles), as well as the usability assessment. To support a traceable climate service, other than rigorously evaluating the technical and scientific quality of ECV products, which represent the upstream of climate services, how the uncertainty propagates into the resulting benefit (utility) for the users of the climate service needs to be detailed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1186
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalRemote sensing
Issue number10
Early online date18 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • Climate data records, essential climate variables, quality assurance, traceability, usability assessment, climate services


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