Copernicus is the European Union's Earth Observation Programme and offers information services based on satellite Earth Observation and in situ (non-space) data. The Programme is coordinated and managed by the European Commission. It is implemented in partnership with the Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA) and further European organisations.

Copernicus performs the following activities: atmosphere monitoring, marine environment monitoring, land monitoring, climate change, emergency managament and security.

The Copernicus programme provides users with free, full and open access to environmental data.

Type of content: Assets
Type of asset:
Portal / Database
Data source
Big data potential
Policy domains: Environment & Energy Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry & Foods Foreign Affairs and Defence
Phase in the policy cycle:
Policy Monitoring and Evaluation
Agenda Setting
Policy Design and Analysis
Implementation/customisation cost
Open license availability
Ease of use
SWOT Analysis for
Helpful Harmful
Strengths• Observations, monitoring and reporting on past and present marine environmental conditions, the response of the oceans to climate change and other stressors;
• Analysing and interpreting changes and trends in observations and measurements of the marine environment;
• Provision of short-term forecasts and outlooks for marine conditions and, as appropriate, to downstream services for warnings of and/or rapid responses to extreme or hazardous events;
• Provision of detailed descriptions of the ocean state, variability and change to initialise coupled ocean/ atmosphere models to predict changes in the atmosphere/climate.
• Integrate data into other models
• Merge data with your own ones
• The observations and forecasts produced by the service support all marine applications.
• Annual reporting of the state and health of the global ocean and regional seas.
• Open and Free service: open for any user requesting generic information on the ocean, and especially downstream service providers who use this information as an input to their own value-added services to end-users.
Weaknesses• Volume limitations download mechanisms (1 gigabyte) for the sake of performance.
• Ocean circulation, ocean-wave and ocean-ice coupling.
• Biogeochemistry and ecosystems.
• Seamless interactions with coastal systems.
• Ocean-Atmosphere coupling and climate.
• Cross-cutting developments on observation, assimilation and product quality improvements
Opportunities• Observing and monitoring the oceans is essential: A good knowledge of the environmental status of the marine waters is necessary for better and more sustainable management of our oceans and seas in support of the development of human activities and of the blue economy
• Delivers a core information service related to 4 areas of benefits:
a) Maritime safety,
b) Marine resources,
c) Coastal and marine environment
d) Weather, seasonal forecast and climate.
• Support to European and Regional decision makers implied in European policies linked to the Marine Environment and Security
• Regional service provision, related to Pollution combat and Monitoring, Coastal Environment, Water Quality, Maritime Safety, Renewable Energies
• Respond to issues emerging in the environmental, business and scientific sectors. Using information from both satellite and in situ observations, it provides state-of-the-art analyses and forecasts daily, which offer an unprecedented capability to observe, understand and anticipate marine environment events.
Threats• Climate change
• Population growth
• Need for establishing homogeneous requirements on data sampling within CMEMS in order to avoid the diverse sampling intervals along the same time series.

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