CCI Sea State

ESA Climate Change Initiative

CCI Sea State

Climate Change Initiative (CCI) is a joint ESA and EU initiative. The CCI aims to exploit the historical archives of ESA and Third Party Mission satellites to address the requirements for a set of long term and consistent Essential Climate Variables (ECV). The variables were defined by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) to support the work of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Sea state depends on surface waves (both wind-waves and swell) over oceans and seas. They impact air-sea energy fluxes, ocean mixing, sea ice extent, and coastal morphological changes. Understanding sea state is crucial not only for climate but also for other economic and ecological issues, including coastal protection, marine safety and renewable marine energy development. Changes in the atmospheric circulation due to greenhouse gas emissions is likely to impact sea state. However, the current knowledge on expected future sea state conditions is still limited by a lack of long-term consistent observations and sea state has never been the main focus of satellite altimetry.

This project has allowed the development of an initial 18-year data set (2002-2020) capitalising on the rich satellite altimeter, SAR imagery, in situ and other data holdings available during that period. The project is particularly focussed on reducing the noise of sea state parameters, and combining different sensors, including the latest Doppler processing of altimeters.

isardSAT activities included L1 Delay-Doppler altimetry processing and retracking, Amplitude Compensation Dilation Compensation (ACDC) processing, and exploring the effects of swell in the HR altimeter backscatter waveform model.

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LOPS, Ifremer, OceanDataLab, CLS, IPGP, TU Munich, DLR, PML, NOC, SatOC, ECMWF, NERSC, isardSAT, IH Cantabria, Uni Galati



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geophysical validation, algorithm development, ocean, remote sensing