Climate Services

The new EU Adaptation Strategy highlights the role of climate services for climate change adaptation. Climate services help to understand current and future climate change and related impacts on different policy sectors across Europe by means of user-oriented products.

A climate service is the provision of climate information to help end-users make climate smart decisions. The climate information can range from seasonal forecasts (e.g., forest fire outlooks) to long-term projections (e.g., sea-level rise). It can be combined with other sectoral information (e.g., population distribution, crop distribution, coastal protection) that is relevant for assessing exposure and vulnerability to climate hazards. Climate services may include weather services, which focus on short-term forecasts (e.g., hazardous weather conditions).

Climate services must be based on scientifically credible information and expertise, must address user needs, and may be co-designed by end-users and providers to enable uptake. They can address a wide audience or be tailored to specific sectors or user groups.

The text below highlights three European climate services provided by the Copernicus programme. It also provides complementary information regarding European early warning systems, national climate services and international frameworks for coordination of and research on climate services.

The Early warning systems for climate-related risks to health and wellbeing section of the European Climate and Health Observatory, includes information on detection, analysis, prediction, and then warning dissemination followed by response decision-making and implementation. It presents the considerable European experience with early warning systems, especially for flood and flash-flood risk, storms, forest fires, heatwaves, and droughts.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) aims to support European climate policies and actions, contributing to building a European society with more resilience against human-induced changing climate.

Copernicus is the European Union’s Earth Observation Programme. It consists of a complex set of systems that collect data from multiple sources: earth observation satellites and in situ sensors, such as ground stations, airborne and sea borne sensors. Copernicus processes these data and provides users with information through a set of services that address six thematic areas: land, marine, atmosphere, climate change, emergency management and security.

C3S provides information on climate change and on impacts for many sectors through the Climate Data Store, which includes

  • Essential Climate Variables (ECVs),
  • climate observations,
  • climate reanalyses,
  • climate projections,
  • climate impact indicators.

C3S users include scientists, consultants, planners and policy makers, the media and the public. All C3S data and tools are provided free of charge.


The European Research Area for Climate Services (ERA4CS) under the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) coordinates research funding on climate services by many national funding bodies with co-funding from the European Commission.

The Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) enables better management of the risks of climate variability and change through the development and incorporation of science-based climate information and prediction into planning, policy and practice on the global, regional and national scale.



C3S and EEA have jointly developed the European Climate Data Explorer (hosted on Climate-ADAPT), which provides interactive access to a growing number of climate variables and climate impact indicators from the C3S Climate Data Store.