European Space Agency Course. Monitoring Climate from Space. Free Access (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

European Space Agency Course. Monitoring Climate from Space. Free Access (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

Monitoring Climate from Space course by Diego FdezSevilla“Monitoring Climate from Space” is an online Course offered for free by the platform “futurelearn” in cooperation with the European Space Agency. I have done it recently and I believe that it can be of interest for some of you.

You can take it easy and it would demand from you just 3 hours a week. With the help of several videos the participant gets introduced to different subjects by experts and scientists working directly or indirectly with ESA. That makes it a nice layout.

That would cover the basics required to understand the applications of satellite data and observation capabilities. It will show you  sources of information and the specific characteristics of different Satellite missions (mostly from European Space Agency) and the sensors and techniques applied in past, present and future research.

However, you can create your own scheme and go a little bit deeper, by looking into every link supplied and web page related with particular subjects. That took me more than 3 hours a week or even a day. But it is worthy since it allows you to locate sources of information at higher level than following the general scheme. I recommend it.

Fundamentally, this course allows you to take a close look into the actual state of satellite data, its applications and the potential for being integrated in different types of research.

What I was looking for, and I did not get much, is about the limitations which need to be considered and how those restrict assessments and assumptions. Even though this is a point which was mentioned several times, and did not rest value to all the other information, it is a very relevant subject which, anybody interested in applying satellite data into any type of research, has to be aware of.

Here a leave you a table containing satellite missions, key instruments and applications.

Satellite Mission Key Instruments Applications
Aquarius (view on map) Aquarius L-Band Scatterometer, Aquarius L-Band Radiometer Ocean surface salinity, atmospheric parameters
Sentinel-1 (view on map) C-Band SAR C-Band SAR data for operational use
Sentinel-3 (future mission) SRAL, OLCI, SLSTR Global land & ocean monitoring
Meteosat-10 (view on map) GERB, MSG Comms, SEVIRI Meteorology, climatology
Sentinel-1 (view on map) C-Band SAR C-Band SAR data for operational use
Aqua (view on map) MODIS Atmospheric dynamicsEvaporation from the oceans, water vapor in the atmosphere, clouds, precipitation, soil moisture, sea ice, land ice, and snow cover on the land and ice. Radiative energy fluxes, aerosols, vegetation cover on the land, phytoplankton and dissolved organic matter in the oceans, and air, land, and water temperatures.
Aquarius (view on map) NWR, ROSA, HSC Atmosphere, land, ocean, snow and ice, gravity
Meteosat-10 (view on map) GERB, MSG Comms, SEVIRI Meteorology, climatology
Terra (view on map) MODIS,MOPITT,MISR, ASTER, CERES·  ASTER, or Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer·  CERES, or Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System

·  MISR, or Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer

·  MODIS, or Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer

·  MOPITT, or Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere

Atmosphere, land, ocean, snow and ice.Terra explores the connections between Earth’s atmosphere, land, snow and ice, ocean, and energy balance.
Sentinel-3 (future mission) SRAL, OLCI, SLSTR Global land and ocean monitoring services
OSTM/Jason-2 (view on map) AMR, DORIS-NG, GPSP, JMR, LRA, POSEIDON-3 Physical oceanography, geodesy/gravity, climate, marinemeteorologyThe Ocean Surface Topography Mission on the Jason-2 satellite (OSTM/Jason-2) is a follow-on to the Jason-1 mission.It launched 20 June 2008 from Vandenburg Air Force Base in California. Explore the sections below for more information about the mission. See the Fact Sheet for more details.
SMOS (view on map) MIRAS (SMOS) Map soil moisture and ocean salinityESA’s Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission has been designed to observe soil moisture over the Earth’s landmasses and salinity over the oceans. Soil moisture data are urgently required for hydrological studies and data on ocean salinity are vital for improving our understanding of ocean circulation patterns.
Sentinel-1 (view on map) C-Band SAR C-Band SAR data for operational use

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(This post is part of a more complex piece of independent research. I don´t have founding, political agenda or publishing revenues from visits. Any scientist working in disciplines related with the topics that I treat in my blog knows how to judge the contribution that my work could potentially add to the state of knowledge. Since I am in transition looking for a position in research, if you are one of those scientists, by just acknowledging any value you might see from my contribution, would not only make justice to my effort as independent researcher, but ultimately, it will help me to enhance my chances to find a position with resources to further develop my work.

I believe that the hypothesis that I have presented in previous posts in this blog (here,here and here) could help to understand present and possible future scenarios in atmospheric circulation. However, this is an assessment based on observation which needs to be validated throughout open discussion and data gathering. So please feel free to incorporate your thoughts and comments in a constructive manner.

If you feel like sharing this post I would appreciate to have a reference about the place or platform, by private or public message, in order for me to have the opportunity to join the debate and be aware of the repercussion which might generate d.fdezsevilla(at)

For anybody interested in the posts related with this discussion here I leave you those more relevant in chronological order (there are comments bellow some of them. Please check them out):


About Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.

Citing This Site "Title", published online "Month"+"Year", retrieved on "Month""Day", "Year" from By Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD. More guidance on citing this web as a source can be found at NASA webpage:! DOIs can be generated on demand by request at email: d.fdezsevilla(at) for those publications missing at the ResearchGate profile vinculated with this project. **Author´s profile: Born in 1974. Bachelor in General Biology, Masters degree "Licenciado" in Environmental Sciences (2001, Spain). PhD in Aerobiology (2007, UK). Lived, acquired training and worked in Spain, UK, Germany and Poland. I have shared the outcome from my work previous to 2013 as scientific speaker in events held in those countries as well as in Switzerland and Finland. After 12 years performing research and working in institutions linked with environmental research and management, in 2013 I found myself in a period of transition searching for a new position or funding to support my own line of research. In the current competitive scenario, in order to demonstrate my capacities instead of just moving my cv waiting for my next opportunity to arrive, I decided to invest my energy and time in opening my own line of research sharing it in this blog. In March 2017 the budget reserved for this project has ended and its weekly basis time frame discontinued until new forms of economic and/or institutional support are incorporated into the project. The value of the data and the original nature of the research presented in this platform and at LinkedIn has proved to be worthy of consideration by the scientific community as well as for publication in scientific journals. However, without a position as member of an institution, it becomes very challenging to be published. I hope that this handicap do not overshadow the value of my achievements and that the Intellectual Property Rights generated with the license of attribution attached are respected and considered by the scientist involved in similar lines of research. **Any comment and feedback aimed to be constructive is welcome as well as any approach exploring professional opportunities to be part of.** In this blog I publish pieces of research focused on addressing relevant environmental questions. Furthermore, I try to break the barrier that academic publications very often offer isolating scientific findings from the general public. In that way I address those topics which I am familiar with, thanks to my training in environmental research, making them available throughout my posts. (see "Framework and Timeline" for a complete index). At this moment, 2017, I am living in Spain with no affiliation attachments. Free to relocate geographically worldwide. If you feel that I could be a contribution to your institution, team and projects don´t hesitate in contact me at d.fdezsevilla (at) or consult my profile at LinkedIn, ResearchGate and Also, I'd appreciate information about any opportunity that you might know and believe it could match with my aptitudes. The conclusions and ideas expressed in each post as part of my own creativity are part of my Intellectual Portfolio and are protected by Intellectual Property Laws. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial conditions. In citing my work from this website, be sure to include the date of access. (c)Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD, 2017. Filling in or Finding Out the gaps around. Publication accessed 20YY-MM-DD at
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